Beat the Haze
19 September 2019
7 Tips to Beat the Haze by MR.DIY

The haze is back and it looks like it could linger over Malaysia for quite some time. Exposure to the haze can cause health problems such as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. We’ve compiled a list to keep you healthy so here are 7 ways you can beat the haze:

1. Get Your Masks On 

N95 masks are a special type of mask with special filters to prevent chemical particles from the polluted air into your system.

  • To prevent the harmful particles in the air from getting into your system, ensure that the N95 masks are a good fit.

  • Studies have also shown that the N95 masks provide good protection against the pollutants, but not many people know that they aren’t exactly for everyone’s consumption. Pregnant women and elderly should refrain from using them as it enhances the effort needed to breathe. This is especially important for people with lung conditions and heart problems.

 

2. Take Care of Your Skin

 

Besides the obvious precautions like giving your skin an extra-large dose of antioxidants to detoxify it and to better cleanse it, try doing a facemask so it can defend the deeper layers of your skin against all the nasty stuff that’s floating around in the air, courtesy of the haze.

 

DIY Remedy:

  • Boil a pot of water and drip some peppermint essential oil and inhale deeply. The steam from the water and the peppermint oil will you with your skin
  • Or, Apply some Chinese medicated oil (驱风油) to give a temporal relief, it’s also worth a try to apply a subtle amount to the area just under your nose and take easy breaths.

 
3. Eat Healthy Food

Here’s what to look out for:

 

 

  • Vitamin C – May help to protect the body from harmful molecules caused by the haze. These molecules called free radicals that damage the cells.
  • Antioxidant-rich food – like your skincare, food rich in antioxidants (berries, beets, green tea, chia seeds) also get rid of harmful free radicals introduced by smog particles.
  • Green leafy vegetables – lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, all of which boost your health and immunity system.

 

DIY remedies: 

This remedy will help you with any mild problems for your throat that is caused by the haze. Mince some garlic cloves and add honey to submerge then cover with cling wrap and leave it overnight (no need to refrigerate). Consume the mixture early in the morning on an empty stomach and throughout the day as needed.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of luke-warm water and consume in the morning or when needed if you feel mucus building up in your throat. The acidity from the vinegar will help dissolve the mucus and clear your throat.

 

4. Eye Care 


Your skin and lungs shouldn’t be the only things you protect. You should also take care of your eyes, especially for those who wear contact lenses. Apply drops of saline solution at least twice daily (or when needed) which act as natural tear supplements to wash away haze compounds or dust particles trapped around the eyes.
 

5. Plants That Give You Clean Air


As we face yet another season of poor air quality, many of us seek refuge indoors – but you might be surprised to find out that your own home can be an unhealthy environment too.
Grow your own plants or buy one from the nearest nursery. NASA conducted research on the best houseplants for clean air, and found that these tropical plants (phew!) help purify the air, ridding it of toxins so all we get is fresh oxygen:
  • Areca Palm – works in the day, converts carbon dioxide to oxygen.
  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue – you can tell by its sassy name, the pollutants won’t dare to stick around. This works best at night, and is best in the bedroom as, unlike other plants, it doesn’t suck oxygen from you while you sleep.
  • Money Plant – filters out removing Formaldehyde and other VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Recommended: at least one plant per 100 sq ft of home or office space. 


6. Air Purifiers


You shouldn’t confuse air purifiers with humidifiers, diffusers and ionisers. The ideal air purifier should have these two things:
  • True HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) Filter : Get one that has this as it removes 99.97% of particles that have a size of 0.3 µm. Don’t cut cost and get one that has a HEPA-like filter.
  • Carbon Filter: It removes chemicals like the cancer-causing formaldehyde and helps to neutralise smells through the use of a bed of activated carbon.

7. Exercise – In Your Living Room Instead


You wouldn’t believe the number of people who are still going about jogging around the neighbourhood, even when it’s so hazy! It’s fine to keep fit, but if you’re doing it at the expense of your health, it really beats the point.
  • Dr Steve Yang, a specialist in respiratory medicine at Raffles Hospital said that “the amount of particulate matter deposited in the respiratory tract during exercise can be about five times more than when the body is at rest”. Basically, when it’s haze season, your lungs take in less oxygen and more pollutants when you exercise. Do your heavy breathing indoors instead.
  • For a solid workout, include burpees, planks, star jumps, push-ups, sit-ups in your routine, or even fit in a circuit training regime. And if that’s not enough, there are much more exercises you can try and learn from the world’s most widely-available resource – YouTube.