EUGENE, Ore -- As fires continue to burn across the state, concerns continue to rise about how the smoke is affecting the health of Lane County residents.
Eugene has now reached what experts are calling a "hazardous" level, and local hospitals have seen an influx this past month in patients with respiratory problems three times the number in July.
Medical professionals say that if you feel short of breath, or are struggling to get a breath in, it's best to go see a physician.
The biggest issue is the minuscule size of the particulate matter floating around in the air due to the smoke.
Because it is so tiny (2.5 micrometers or smaller), it can be inhaled into the deepest part of the lungs and cause potential long term problems.
They are also recommending that if you have to go outside for any reason, wear a mask, and if you can, the best thing to do is to avoid going outside all together, in order to limit your exposure as much as possible.
Paper or dusk masks aren't very effective. Oregon Health Authority recently published a document that states that the best mask to wear is an N 95.
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