WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — If you’ve spent any time outside on Tuesday or Wednesday, you’ve seen the hazy skies across the DMV. This is smoke from wildfires in Canada blowing our way. 

Dr. Murray Ramanathan, director at the Johns Hopkins Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in the Greater Washington Area, is an air quality expert and said the haze has a serious effect on our health.

“The highest amount of particulate pollution in the air is actually the highest it’s been in years and susceptible populations, people with asthma, people with other respiratory conditions, are very susceptible to air pollution and their disease or conditions can get worse. Even for people who don’t have these diseases chronic air pollution exposure has been shown to be associated with a lot of health problems,” he said.

Dr Ramanathan also says air quality influences allergens in the air, so there is a higher amount of air pollution that affects pollen levels and other allergens so allergic patients can have worse symptoms. In a lot of ways air pollution, the smog the air quality influences everything around us as well.

“If this continues for longer I think the main thing is for people that are outdoors it’s important to limit exposure outdoors. Luckily now we’re used to wearing masks, but I think masks can certainly help that. Other things that patients can do that have nasal problems is they can use saline rinses to rinse out the particulates. But I think of all the things out there limiting exposure on days where the particulates are the highest is probably the most valuable,” he said.