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Smoke In Reno Is A Health Risk For People With Asthma

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The lingering widespread haze caused by California wildfires combined with high temperatures this week can be a health risk for people with asthma. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

Dr. Sonia Budhecha is with Renown Medical Group. She says asthma is most common in children and is a condition when the bronchial tubes, or airways, get obstructed.

“The smoke itself, the particulates in the air, when they’re the smaller size particulates, especially, they can very easily penetrate those airways,” Budhecha says, “and they can irritate the airways enough to actually have one of those asthma attacks.”

In addition, several days of exposure to smoke can start inflaming the airways.

“Typically the early signs of an asthma attack can be a lot of coughing,” Budhecha says, “followed by shortness of breath and audible wheezing.”    

Budechea says conditions like the dry climate, temperature changes, and the prevalence of pollen and dust are contributing factors to the high incidence of asthma in Northern Nevada.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.
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