13 Ways On How to Protect Yourself from Haze

Raise your hand if you are from South-East Asia (*cough* Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia). If you are, then you should be familiar with the notorious annual haze. It is hazardous to our health even when we stay indoors. Everyone will need to be in their best condition as it is difficult to recover from all the air pollutants. To help you get through during this hazy times, below are tips compiled from the media, newspaper, internet and doctor’s advice. A must-read post especially if you have children, elderly, or asthmatic symptoms.
Short answer
Stay indoor. Stay hydrated.

Haze VS Fog

The differences are fog or mist are formed of vapor condenses into water droplets in the air. Haze is formed by dust, smoke, and other fine particulates accumulation in relatively dry air. Fog happens when there is falling ambient air temperature and the dew point is less than 4.5 °F. Haze occurred as sunlight reflection is obstructed by air pollution of the lower atmosphere. Fog has a thick, opaque effect that lasts a short period of time. Haze on the other hand, has a thinner, translucent smoke-like effect that lasts a long period of time.

Dealing With Haze. The Survival List.

To prevent any more suffocation from the dreadful haze season, below are steps to protect you and your family. Be well prepared.

  1. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day. (Ideally 2.7L for female and 3.7L for Male over 18).
  2. Bring an additional respiratory mask, eye drops, water bottle, tissue, wet wipes when traveling even for a short distance.
  3. Wear a respiratory mask with N95 grade. Not surgical mask or any of those “kawaii” fashionable mask. Also, check the mask expiry date as well. DO NOT use the mask if is distorted from the original shape.
  4. Always stay indoor if is anything but clear sky blue. Keep all windows and doors shut. If you are heading out, make sure all windows and ventilation stay closed.
  5. Only exercise indoor and make sure the indoor air quality is good as well. Exercise makes you breathe harder and deeper, hence more air will be inhaled into your lungs.
  6. For eye irritation, apply eye drops or use a warm towel to wash away dust particles. Avoid wearing contact lens if possible.
  7. Check the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) level daily. Stay at home if PSI level is above 100.
  8. Stop smoking, avoid smoker. Do not play a part in contributing to the air toxicity to yourself and people around you.
  9. Get an air purifier with HEPA filter and activated carbon filter. Avoid ozone generator.
  10. Sleep early for good quality sleep. Do not stay up late and sleep at odd hours.
  11. Shower immediately after coming back from outdoor to reduce toxic residues in your home. Wash your face area thoroughly as it is the most sensitive part of your skin.
  12. Avoid lingering on the bus station or even crowded area. Beside exposing to toxins such as cigarette smokes, exhaust fumes, you are also putting yourself at risk of viral infection.
  13. Fly somewhere far away to escape from the haze. Expensive yet probably the best solution.

Protect Yourself By Staying Healthy

Below suggestions are not for short-term but to prep yourself for the next coming haze invasion.

  1. Take medicines stats if there are signs of illness from the haze.
  2. For dry throat, get medication like antihistamines and decongestants. Apple cider vinegar s a simple home remedy that can be used to cure sore throat and reduces inflammation. Mix 1 tablespoon in a glass of water.
  3. Honey/ lemon juice can help alleviate the irritation in the throat. Take a few tablespoons every couple of hours to soothe the throat. Drink less coffee or alcohol to avoid overworking your kidneys.
  4. Eat more vegetables and fresh fruits. Both are full of vitamins which are good for your body immune system.
  5. Consume fewer dairy products, sugar, red meat, high saturated fats food e.g. processed meats.
  6. Garlic is known to relieve cold and other symptoms. Take garlic supplements if necessary.
  7. Take Vitamin A, C, E supplements regularly but within the recommended daily dose. E.g. 700 mcg – 900 mcg RAE for Vitamin A, 90mg for Vitamin C, and 15mg for Vitamin E.

While some of the lists are not as straightforward as it seems, I hope you will still find it useful with the never-ending haze issue. Please share the list to your friends and family if you find it useful. If you have other tips that you would like to contribute, drop us a message in the comment section and I will update the list accordingly.

The questions we have been asked many times. Why is haze dangerous? The reason is simple, Exposing to haze is detrimental to our health particularly to our lungs. Haze mainly consists of PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter like dust, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides. In the long run, it can aggravate asthma, heart failure, respiratory and lung diseases like COPD.

Please pay close attention to the symptoms below. There might be 1-3 days delay on first exposure. Seek doctor’s help if the situation worsens.

  • Wheezing/ dry cough/ phlegm
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Sneezing/ runny nose
  • Headache/ dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Scratchy/ dry throat
  • Red eyes
  • Skin allergies

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.