MedStar’s response volumes for respiratory conditions generally increase on Ozone/Air Quality Alert days.
Here’s an example from last year – between June 6 – 10, 2021 there were no Air Quality Alert Days, but between June 13 – 17, 2021, there were several:
According to the American Lung Association, four groups of people are especially vulnerable to the effects of breathing ozone:
- Children and teens
- Anyone 65 and older
- People with existing lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis); and
- People who work or exercise outdoors.
During Ozone Alert Action Days, it’s a good idea to try and stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned environment, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Don’t ignore warning signs, if you are outdoors and experience symptoms of difficulty breathing, go indoors in an air-conditioned environment. If the symptoms don’t subside, seek immediate medical attention.