Air quality along the Wasatch front isn’t just unsightly, but getting dangerous. Hospitals are seeing an increase in the number of patients having lung and heart issues. Studies have shown when air is this bad it can lead to more serious heart attacks.
Dr. Denitza Blagev is a Pulmonologist at Intermountain Medical Center, and sees the effects of the bad air first hand. Those with respiratory issues are suffering from the air quality. She notes why those with heart issues need to be careful.
“People with underlying heart disease can actually have an increased risk of heart attack or stoke as well,” said Dr. Blagev.
According to studies people suffer more serious heart attacks during prolonged orange and red air quality days. Intermountain Healthcare has resources to help people know the steps they should take during these conditions.
Dr. Blagev notes that even those not having lung and heart issues can see problems and be more susceptible to getting sick.
“The problem when you have air pollution exposure and then on top of that you get the viral infection your body just has less reserve to cope with that,” said Dr. Blagev.
Experts have said red air days are like smoking a half pack of cigarettes. Those who do outside activities have even more exposure during the same period because they’re breathing heavier. Runner Michael Croxton said he’s started noticing the bad air on his health, but still runs outside because it’s how he exercises.
“Been congested and just feels like I’m running behind a couple of semis the whole time,” said Croxton.
Some people have even resorted to wearing special masks as they walk around. Experts say people should try to stay indoors. Make sure the air filter is clean so the inside air is not as bad.