Haze is an atmospheric condition where particles, smoke, dust and moisture suspend in the air obscuring visibility. The haze affects different people in different ways, and depending on how sensitive you are, the severity of the haze and the time of exposure, you may experience the following short-term adverse effects: Irritated eyes, watering eyes, and/or conjunctivitis (a type of eye inflammation), running nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, and/or post-nasal drip, Throat irritation, dry throat, sore throat and/or coughing, headache, dizziness, fatigue and/or stress, decreased lung function, depressed respiratory immune defenses, chest pain, and/or bronchitis (lung inflammation).
These symptoms are usually mild and will subside in time, and when the haze dissipates. However, those with asthma, younger children, the elderly as well as those suffering from heart and respiratory diseases/ailments are more susceptible to falling ill because of the concentration of impurities.
The haze unfortunately, will not be able to stop us from carrying out our daily activities, so if you intend to step out once in a while, here are 7 health tips to ensure that the haze doesn’t affect you completely:
1. You should aim to drink 8 -10 glasses of water a day, so carry out a bottle of water in your bag to remind yourself to keep hydrated.
2. Stock up on your Vitamin C intake to help with the regeneration of cells in your body. Vitamin C pastilles or chewable tablets are a delicious and easy way to keep your Vitamin C levels up, and if it’s too dry, you can mix dissolvable Vitamin C tablets into your water for the same effect.
3. For those taking public transport or those who will be exposed to the outside air should carry a spare mask in their pocket or bag at all times, especially when you’re in an area with lots of carbon monoxide admission.
4. Even if you are wearing a mask and have sunglasses on, the haze and dust particles in the air can find its way into your eyes and cause dry eyes and irritations. A small vial of lubricating eye drops will not only stop your eyes from drying out, but will also provide some protection against the dust.
5. For those that are prone to throat irritations, coughs, or are already sick should carry around soothing throat lozenges to ease the irritations.
6. Consuming lots of antioxidant-rich foods like cranberries, corn, capsicum, spinach, berries and tomatoes will help eliminate the free radicals found in the haze, so carry a small bag of cherry tomatoes or berries with you for a healthy and rejuvenating snack.
7. Pollution can also affect your skin, increasing sensitivity, redness and itching so wash your skin with a gentle cleanser at the end of every day and use a hydrating moisturizer with antioxidant ingredients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E to keep your skin fresh and supple. Don’t forget to use broad-spectrum sun-block in the day time too.