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Combat The Haze with these steps!

by Kevin | 21 Mar 2019

It's that time of the year again that everyone hates! Yes I'm talking bout the haze here in Malaysia. Honestly I hate it because my nose is very sensitive and I can't indulge in sports outdoors sigh.

Short of moving to a vast country land with pristine fresh air to wait out for the wind to blow all the smog away, it is difficult to completely escape the haze. However, there are ways to reduce your discomfort and alleviate your symptoms. Here are some of them.

1) Avoid exposure
Seems obvious, but this is the simplest form of dealing with the haze. You better be following these tips:

Avoid exercising in the open. Aerobic activities make you breathe deeply, hence you suck in pollutants deep into your lungs.

Avoid smoking. Other than exposing your lungs to the same toxins found in hazy conditions, smoking makes your lungs more sensitive to the effects of air pollutants.

2) Stay indoors and keep the air clean
Stay indoors as much as possible and keep the doors and windows closed.

If you have an air conditioner, switch it on and ensure the air filter is clean.

The use of suitable particulate air filters (air filters which remove solid particles from the air) within an enclosed area can also help.

3) Wear a mask
We strongly advise those with existing heart or respiratory ailments, or those more susceptible to the effects of haze to wear a respiratory mask when outdoors.

Respiratory masks, such as N95 masks, are designed to keep out fine particulate matter and hence protect the wearers from breathing in the smoke particles in the air. The mask should be changed when it gets soiled or distorted in shape.

A note of caution: surgical masks and paper masks do not provide adequate protection from haze particles. Their main purpose is to prevent the spread of body fluids and do not filter out haze particles.

Respirator masks are available in most major pharmacies throughout Malaysia.

4) Alleviating the symptoms
Haze often irritates the nose, throat, airways, skin and eyes. The common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, dry throat, cough and eye irritation.

Air passages:
Symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, dry throat and cough can be relieved through simple cough tablets or mixtures available in pharmacies.

Apply a few drops of saline solution to act as natural tear supplements. This will help wash away haze compounds or dust particles that get into the eyes.

5) Home and natural remedies
There are a number of DIY remedies that can be concocted easily to soothe the various ailments caused by the haze.

The air particles in the haze often cause irritation of the air passages and dry throat. Here are some popular remedies;

• Inhaling steam from a pan filled with hot water mixed with aromatherapy oils. This is generally helpful for soothing dry throats.

• Mix equal quantities of aloe vera juice and orange juice. Add one table spoon of honey and drink every morning to soothe the throat.

• Mince a garlic clove and place it in a small bowl. Add two tablespoon of honey and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave it overnight and take one table spoon of the mixture throughout the next day as needed. This is believed to help suppress bouts of coughing.

• Add two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and take a few swallows as needed. Vinegar dissolves the mucus in the throat and reduces inflammation.

• Gargling with warm spinach juice is said to be a very good cough remedy.

6) Change your diet
If the haze persists and you cannot avoid it completely, it may help to take certain nutrients that provide a measure of internal pollution protection.

Vitamin A
Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes and spinach.

These foods help protect your eyes, lungs and the oxygen-carrying capabilities of your bloodstream, and help shield the lungs from air pollution. Vitamin A is required for the health of the mucous membranes. The oxidizing chemicals in haze destroy the vitamin A stores in the lung tissue, thus decreasing the efficiency of the body's first line of defence against carcinogens.

Vitamin C and E
A study conducted by Yale University researchers have found that vitamins C and E work together to keep lung tissue healthy. Daily supplements of both builds up levels of a protective protein that prevents enzymes released during inflammation from destroying the lung's elastic properties.

In addition, avoid foods high in saturated fats. Saturated fat intake has been linked to a higher risk of developing lung cancer. Eat lots of salad greens and other raw vegetables and fresh fruits.



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