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Everyone Could Start to Feel Adverse Effects from Smoky Air

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Itchy, watery eyes. Coughing. Chest pain. Any of these symptoms sound familiar? You're not alone.

With air quality in the unhealthy to hazardous category, experts say even healthy people can start to feel adverse effects.

Dr. Lawrence Garges of Tri-State's Allergy and Asthma Clinic says with air quality so degraded, he's seeing more normally healthy people coming in complaining of smoke impacts.

He says many of his COPD and asthma patients are doing well with their medication and limiting smoke exposure, but now is the time for everyone to stay inside as much as possible.

Symptoms can range from eye and nose irritation, coughing and sore throat, to shortness of breath or worse.

Dr. Garges says, "The trigger that would suggest that you see your doctor is any symptom that you didn't used to have that's much worse. Even normal people are becoming affected significantly and they may need short-term relief."

That relief may include antihistamines or prescription bronchodilators.

The smoke is also a good excuse to skip your morning jog. Exercising outdoors in these conditions can worsen these symptoms, and prolonged exposure can lead to permanent damage.

Even with the smoke, Lewiston Fire Chief Travis Myklebust says on the emergency side of things, they aren't getting any more calls for respiratory distress than they did this time last year.

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