The number of 999 calls from north-west patients struggling with breathing problems has soared by 15% this week, the region's ambulance has said.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the North West Ambulance Service has seen 985 such calls between Sunday and Wednesday compared to 858 between in the previous four days.
A spokeswoman for the service told the newspaper that while the increase appeared to be linked to an increase in pollution levels, the cause was not completely certain.
Higher numbers of complaints about breathing difficulties are thought to have been brought on by record pollution levels in recent days.
Air pollution in the east of England reached the top of the scale as a 'perfect storm' of conditions blanketed parts of the country.
Our region is one of the worst-affected by "very high" levels of air pollution today, with much of the East stuck under a cloud of smog.