health & Happiness blog

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Unfazed by the Haze

Every year, Singaporeans face the haze. Experts from the National Environment Agency announced that this year the haze could come even earlier than usual. And true enough, the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) has been inching upwards over the past few months.

Even if you don’t have existing health conditions, such as asthma, eczema, or chronic heart or respiratory disease, you are still at risk of experiencing the effects of the harmful smog, especially when you spend a lot of time outdoors. These can include eye irritation, runny nose, coughing, headache, dizziness and chest pain. So what can you do to protect yourself from the harmful smog?

Limit your exposure to haze

When the haze hits unhealthy levels, minimise any outdoor activities and exercise. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are particularly at risk, so they should stay indoors. Close all windows, doors and any openings to prevent the haze from coming inside your home.

If you have to stay outdoors for several hours, wear a protective mask. The Ministry of Health recommends N95 masks, which help prevent people from breathing in smog and are more effective than ordinary masks against fine dust particles in the air.

Purify the air inside your home

At home, use an air purifier to keep particle levels low. It will remove very small particles and ensure that you are at least breathing in cleaner air when you’re indoors.

Try to cut down on activities that produce smoke, such as barbecuing, smoking cigarettes and lighting candles or incense. In an enclosed area, the build-up of smoke, gases and pollutants from these burning sources may become hazardous.

Maintain your body’s natural defence systems

Help maintain your immunity during hazy weather by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and drinking more water than usual. This can aid in flushing out toxins from the haze that are inadvertently absorbed through the skin and lungs. You can also cut down on coffee and alcohol consumption, as these drinks result in fluid and nutrient loss.

Many people are worried about maintaining their immune system during these hazy periods, and rightly so. Some supplements contain a balanced variety of immune-supporting nutrients including zinc, vitamin C and copper, which help maintain normal function of your immune system and protect cells from oxidative stress.

There may be no stopping the haze from hovering over Singapore in the next few months, but you can still stay protected. Regularly monitor local air quality updates and take necessary precautions when haze levels are high.