The heat came Wednesday with the added issue of smoke from the Dare County wildfire. A doctor in Greenville says that one-two punch can be a bad combination.
The heat alone can be a hazard for anyone who spends much time outside because of the risk of dehydration and heat stroke. When combined with poor air quality from the smoke, it's even more dangerous, particularly if you have underlying lung problems like asthma or COPD. Dr. Mark Bowling with the Brody School of Medicine says some people really need to stay inside or even leave town when the air is smoky.
"It can be very serious. I've had some patients who've had extreme reactions to it. Quite frankly, for some asthmatics, it can be life threatening.," said Dr. Bowling.
He says most of us will be fine with limited exposure to heat or the smoke, but if you find yourself having trouble breathing you should see a doctor.
He says a lot of it comes down to common sense, and that you should limit not only the time you spend outside when it's hot or smoky, but also also limit your exertion.
If your condition is so bad your doctor does advise you to leave the area, experts say be sure to pack plenty of medication while you're away.
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