Tips for Coping with Smoke-Related Health Problems

By: Renown Wellness Team

July 19, 2021

Close up of a mother and her little girls having an appointment with the urgent care provider

Millions of people across the west live in areas where air pollution can cause serious health problems. In addition, local air quality can affect our daily lives. 

Who is Affected?

Kouros Farro, MD, a physician with Renown Urgent Care, advises that certain people are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level.

  • People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • People who have heart disease or high blood pressure.
  • Children and older adults.
  • People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors.

“Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy. Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider,” says Dr. Farro, who is board certified in family medicine and practices at Renown Urgent Care at 975 Ryland St. in Reno.

“If you do not have a health care provider, there is a Renown Urgent Care office on almost every corner, with providers ready to see you.”

Dr. Farro advises the following:

  • Take it easy and listen to your body.
  • Limit, change or postpone your physical activity level.
  • If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires.
  • If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD, make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.
  • People with asthma should review and follow the direction in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider to be sure you have an asthma action plan.

Getting Same-Day Care

Renown Urgent Care provides same-day treatment for a wide range of minor injuries, illnesses and medical concerns that are urgent but not life-threatening. Avoid the long wait times and high emergency room prices at 11 convenient sites, including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, USA Parkway, Fallon and Fernley. You can walk in or book ahead online.

Make an Urgent Care Appointment

Community Health Resources

The Washoe County Health District offers online health information on its Smoke Smart website, including fire information, daily air quality information, fire and smoke maps and how to protect yourself. In addition, an online subscription page allows you to sign up for EnviroFlash, notifying you about air quality.


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