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MEDIA ALERT: Smoke from Wild Fires Could Mean Health Problems for Asthmatics
Date:10/25/2007

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The smoke caused by raging wild fires in Southern California poses a serious health risk to people suffering from asthma and other lung conditions.

People with asthma have inflamed airways, which can become even more inflamed after exposure to smoke. The ash and debris floating in the air is small enough to pass though the throat and lungs and become lodged in the bronchial tubes and air sacs, increasing asthma symptoms.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) recommends the following steps for asthmatics and people with other respiratory diseases whose lungs are irritated by smoke:

-- Keep windows closed at night to prevent smoke from drifting into the

home.

-- Use an air conditioner and dehumidifier to keep air clean, cool, and

dry.

-- Keep car windows closed when traveling.

-- Avoid outdoor exercise.

-- Use a paper mask when you need to be outside and smoke levels are high.

-- Take medications as prescribed in the recommended dosage. Do not take

more medication to alleviate severe symptoms.

-- Work together with an allergist/immunologist to ensure medications are

helping and notify an allergist/immunologist when reactions to

medications occur. Contact your physician or allergist/immunologist if

symptoms persist.

Consult with an allergist/immunologist

People seeking effective relief from asthma or breathing problems who have been irritated by smoke should talk to their physician or consider seeing an allergist/immunologist. For more information, visit the AAAAI's Web site, http://www.aaaai.org.

The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease. Allergy/immunology specialists are pediatric or internal medicine physicians who have elected an additional two years of training to become specialized in the treatment of asthma, allergy and immunologic disease. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. The AAAAI serves as an advocate to the public by providing educational information through its Web site at http://www.aaaai.org.


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SOURCE The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
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