From The Straits Times    |

Invest in a good air purifier
It may be pollutants galore outside, but you can still keep the air in your home clean with a decent air purifier. Ideally, you should have an air purifier for each room; otherwise, you can just as easily move them between the different rooms. Dr Michael Lee, deputy medical director at Raffles Medical, advises investing in one with a HEPA filter, which can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. Check out Blueair’s high-performance air purifiers and some of our other recommendations here.

Stay hydrated
Polluted air can cause eye and throat irritation, and leave your skin feeling dry and rough, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Water will also help your body flush out any toxins absorbed by your lungs and skin. “The dry particles of the haze trap ambient heat, so one gets dehydrated more easily,” adds Dr Lee. “As such, you should aim to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day.”

Don’t quite fancy plain water? Try natural coconut water – it’s chock-full of electrolytes and is a delicious way to stay hydrated. Go for 100 per cent natural variants, such as Vita Coco, and avoid those produced from concentrate.

Slap on moisturiser
“People with sensitive skin conditions like eczema might experience increased skin irritation because of the dry particles and heat from the haze,” notes Dr Lee. So keep skin hydrated by slathering on moisturiser – and keep up the good habit, haze or no haze.

If you’ve fallen prey to the haze despite your best efforts, try these Traditional Chinese Medicine remedies to alleviate any discomfort.

Nasal irritation: Tan Weii Zhu, TCM Physician from Raffles Chinese Medicine, recommends drinking peppermint tea or adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil into your aroma mist diffuser to ease nasal congestion. “The aromatic flavor of peppermint is particularly beneficial for relieving symptoms in the upper respiratory tract,” she notes.

Throat irritation: “Honeysuckle flower, otherwise known as jin yin hua, is a cooling, mildly sweet herb that is especially useful for relieving throat discomfort. Make a herbal tea by boiling honeysuckle flower for 20 minutes,” advises Weii Zhu.

Eye irritation: “Boil chrysanthemum, mulberry leaves and prunella spike together for 20 minutes and drink the concoction. The cooling nature of these herbs makes them unsuitable for prolonged consumption, especially for individuals with weak digestive systems,” says Weii Zhu.

However, if you experience more serious symptoms brought about by the haze, such as chronic lung problems and allergic skin conditions, it is best to seek medical help.