Wildfires causing breathing problems

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on April 18, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 18 at 5:31 PM

You do not have to see it or smell it to feel the effects from the smoke.

At the Allergy and Asthma Clinic in Fort Worth phones are ablaze with calls from people who are suffering.

Eric Stryhal had to visit the allergy clinic for the first time in years. He needed an emergency breathing treatment to get his asthma under control.

"I guess with the pollen and the smoke, inhalers just haven't been doing the job lately," said Stryhal, asthma patient.

Specialists say Texas fires are making asthma and allergies go wild too.

Even when you can't see or smell the smoke, the body responds to tiny particles in the air.

Dr. James Haden said his office has received a number of calls, even from otherwise healthy people.

"People might notice an irritation or a burning in the nose or in the lungs, a tightness of the chest," said Dr. James Haden, allergist. "More watering of the eyes or nasal congestion or drainage."

Those with known respiratory problems should stay indoors, and get help before smoke triggers a serious reaction.

Stryhal said who before this treatment, he could not walk to the car without gasping.

Specialists said the effects from wildfire smoke can build up, health wise.

The longer this goes on, the worse it will be for people with asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases.

Email:jstjames@wfaa.com

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