Sleepy Hollow pulmonologist sees uptick in calls due to wildfire smoke

Dr. Gary Lehrman, a pulmonologist at Northwell Health Phelps Memorial Hospital, says some patients with underlying COPD or asthma report shortness of breath, cough and wheezing.

Veronica Jean Seltzer

Jun 8, 2023, 7:09 PM

Updated 317 days ago

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A Sleepy Hollow pulmonologist says his practice is seeing an uptick in calls because of the wildfire smoke.
Dr. Gary Lehrman, a pulmonologist at Northwell Health Phelps Memorial Hospital, says some patients with underlying COPD or asthma report shortness of breath, cough and wheezing.
Lehrman says the haze can exacerbate those underlying conditions leading to emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
"These smoky conditions are extreme irritants, which causes inflammation in the airways and twitchiness of the airways, so patients develop constriction of the bronchi leading to worsening symptoms, which we're seeing," he says.
Northwell officials say systemwide it has anecdotal reports of a mild increase in asthma and wheezing cases, but not a significant increase in overall volume at emergency rooms.
Dr. Lehrman says stay indoors and wear an N95 mask if you have to go out.


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