B.C. sees 25% jump in inhaler use from wildfire smoke

Weekly increases saw thousands of people with breathing problems reach for their puffers during air quality advisories

Smoky skies across the province have caused breathing issues for many residents, leading to a 25 per cent increase in the amount of people seeking inhalers in recent weeks, according to the Ministry of Health.

The most recent data examines the week of August 13-19, 2018 and compares it against the previous four weeks, which saw an average of 15,781 prescriptions written each week. But for the week of Aug. 13-19, that jumped to 19,710 prescriptions.

Inhaler Prescriptions in B.C. July 16-Aug 12 vs Aug 13- Aug 19, 2018
Infogram

Northern B.C. was the most heavily affected area of the province, seeing a 42 per cent increase or more than 400 additional prescriptions written for inhalers.

The Interior of the province saw 1,500 more inhalers prescribed, or a 37 per cent increase, and Vancouver Island jumped 15 per cent increase, with over 400 more prescriptions.

Smoky skies have cause breathing problems for many people in B.C., causing a 25 per cent increase in inhaler prescriptions. File photo

RELATED: B.C. wildfire season now second worst in province’s history

“Wildfire smoke can have a negative impact on people who have asthma and other respiratory illnesses, children, pregnant women and the elderly,” said Stephen May, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health via email. “For most people, sheltering-in-place (a clean indoor air environment in their homes or indoor community facilities) is a reliable way to reduce their exposure to smoke.”

ALSO READ: A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

May added that staying indoors isn’t always an option for people who need to evacuate their homes, and adds that if people do self-evacuate, they can go to their nearest reception centre and register with Emergency Social Services.

He also added that for minor, non-emergency symptoms like eye, nose and throat irritation, people can call 811 or visit HealthlinkBC.ca .

Anyone with severe breathing problems or cardiovascular distress are asked to call 911.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberni writer and poet to read at Words on Fire

Chelsea Comeau has her own freelance writing and editing business

North Island College hosting nursing info session

Info sessions will take place Monday, Jan. 27 at Port Alberni and Campbell River campuses

Photographer captures Port Alberni personalities in black and white portraits

Meet John Douglas, Courtney Naesgaard in double exhibit Jan. 18 at Rollin Art Centre

Alberni Valley Community Foundation opens grant application process for 2020

Nearly $30K available for Port Alberni-based charities

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

Cariboo Memorial Hospital back to normal after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Site of planned Jumbo Valley ski resort to be protected, managed by First Nations

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

Most Read