There are a variety of substances you can inhale that can cause acute internal injuries. Particles in the air from fires and toxic fumes can damage your eyes and respiratory system. They also can make chronic heart and lung diseases worse.
Symptoms of acute inhalation injuries may include
- Coughing and phlegm
- A scratchy throat
- Irritated sinuses
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Stinging eyes
- A runny nose
- If you already have asthma, it may get worse.
The best way to prevent inhalation injuries is to limit your exposure. If you smell or see smoke, or know that fires are nearby, you should leave the area if you are at greater risk from breathing smoke.
Environmental Protection Agency
- Consequences of Fire: The Killing Fumes (National Fire Protection Association)
- Health Effects of Ozone and Particle Pollution (American Lung Association)
- How to Properly Put On, Take Off a Disposable Respirator (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Inhalation Injuries (Burn Institute) - PDF
- Lung problems and volcanic smog (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Particle Pollution (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)