Children, older adults and people with heart and lung conditions are being warned to be extra careful, as bushfires cause pollution across the state.
A spike in air pollution has occurred across parts of NSW, with many areas experiencing poor to very poor air quality, NSW Health said on Friday.
Children, the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions are particularly susceptible, the department said.
Even if the fires are burning hundreds of kilometres away, Professor Wayne Smith said smoke particles can cause itchy or burning eyes, throat irritation or a runny nose, and aggravate existing illnesses including bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
“The best way to avoid breathing in the smoke is to remain inside with the windows and doors closed, preferably in an air-conditioned building,” Professor Smith said in a statement.
“Asthma sufferers need to follow their Asthma Action Plan and take their relieving medication where necessary. If symptoms get worse, asthma sufferers need to seek medical advice.”
Fine particles can also irritate the lungs of healthy adults, so it is best to avoid any prolonged outdoor exercise, he said.