Health Diary Guidelines
Keeping a Health Diary will help you and your health care providers determine if there are connections between environmental changes and changes in your health. You can use any kind of notebook or journal to record your entries. There are even online health diaries if you prefer using a computer.
It’s best to use your health diary every day, even if all is well or just the same. Whether you use it every day, or occasionally, be sure to use it whenever you notice a change – in your health condition, in your water or air.
For each entry, be sure to write down the date, time, and local weather conditions. Weather conditions can affect how pollution travels through the air, and may affect certain health problems, such as allergies and asthma. Notes on weather include information on cloud cover, temperature, rain and wind, such as its general direction and speed: none, light wind, moderate or strong.
Examples of health conditions to record:
• If you have trouble breathing, note the time of day, weather conditions, whether you are inside your home or outside, and how long the problem persists.
• If you develop a skin condition, describe where it is, how it feels and what it looks like. Skin conditions can change over time, so it is helpful to keep a record to share with your health provider. Taking a photo of the skin problem is also useful for diagnosing a problem.
• If you experience unusual pain, describe where it is and how it feels as best you can.
• If you develop nose bleeds, note each time you get one, where you are and what you are doing.
• If you feel more stress, see if you can identify the things you are most concerned about.
Examples of environmental conditions to record:
• Changes in water quality such as odors, tastes, sand residue, or color changes
• Changes in the air quality in and around your home such as odors, fine dust collecting on windows
• Changes in industrial activities near your home
• Changes in the amount of diesel truck traffic near your home, including what hours of the day and/or night you hear them
• Make note of noise from industrial sites.
• Make note of light pollution from industrial sites.
Be sure to share your health diary with our nurse practitioner and with your doctor.
Call us with questions or to see our nurse practitioner: 724.260.5504
Stay Up to Date
For More Information please contact:
Raina Rippel, Project Director
SWPA Environmental Health Project
4198 Washington Road Suite 5,
McMurray, PA 15317
Open Tuesday — Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.