There has been a very noticeable amount of smoke in the valley coming in from the forest fires in British Columbia.

Inhaling the air outside has become a difficult task for healthy people, and even more difficult for those who have respiratory issues.

Drum FM sat down with Dr. Rithesh Ram from Riverside Medical to see if there has been an increase of people struggling with the thick air.

"Definitely, an increase in respiratory stress on their systems but it doesn't have to be people who have an existing lung issue."RAMDr. Rithesh Ram

"Even people who have never had allergies before are coming in saying they are having some raspiness in their voice, They are waking up coughing a lot, more stuffed up, they are coughing up things.  We get a bit reactive airways, basically an allergy response. We are having some of those extra issues this summer for sure," explained Dr.Ram.

Environment Canada has released a Special Air Quality Statement for Drumheller and surrounding areas advising people with COPD, asthma, and lung disease to stay indoors, while others may experience scratchy throats, coughing and headaches.

The statement recommends that having an air conditioner or filtered air system indoors may help.

"If you are oxygen and you don't have to go to your house, and your house is well ventilated inside and none of the windows are open, then it shouldn't be too much of an issue. For those who don't have those luxuries, then it can make the days quite a bit worse," said Dr. Ram.

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