PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — If your allergies and asthma have been acting up more than usual, it’s likely due to poor air quality caused by Canadian wildfires.

Dr. Brian Curtis, vice president of medical specialties at OSF Healthcare, said people with underlying lung conditions are more susceptible to throat irritation and having trouble breathing.

“The particulates in the air affect people with really any kind of lung disease. So allergies, asthma, COPD, maybe people who smoke a lot, will notice the particulates the air are really annoying to the airways…It makes it harder for them to breathe. It may actually exacerbate their lung condition,” he said.

For that reason, Curtis said it’s important to be diligent about taking lung disease medications and to curb smoking. It’s also a good idea to stay inside and crank up the AC on days with poor air quality.

“The particulates tend to get worse as the day goes on. So if you really want to go outside, it’s usually better to do that early in the day, rather than later in the day,” he said.

According to Accuweather, afternoon air quality in Peoria on Wednesday was rated as “poor”, meaning “the air has reached a high level of pollution and is unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

If you’re having severe trouble breathing, Curtis said to contact your pulmonologist.