Allergy season, air quality triggers new asthma cases in Central California

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central Valley has struggled with its air quality for years. Doctors are continuing to see the impact on residents' health, with many being diagnosed with asthma.

Anyone dealing with asthma might be feeling it a little more this allergy season.

"This time of the year, asthma is mostly triggered by allergies," said Dr. Malik Baz, the medical director at Baz Allergy, Asthma, and Sinus Center. "We have a very high pollen count, the olives, which is one of the worst pollen this time of the year, besides the grasses."

For those who haven't been diagnosed with asthma but are experiencing a hard time breathing, it could be time for you to see your doctor.

"Maybe the people were genetically predisposed to asthma in the past, but there was not enough pollution in the air, or the pollen count was not high," explained Dr. Baz. "Now they're living in the areas where it's been triggering their asthma."

Baz said living in Central California can trigger asthma symptoms because of our poor air quality.

Several of his offices around the Valley are seeing large amounts of new patients displaying symptoms.

"We see almost 70, 80, 90 patients, new patients a day, from different offices," he said.

While asthma is easy to manage with an inhaler or medicine, there are several occasions when Dr. Baz sees someone's asthma not under control.

Some of those signs include:

  • Coughing while running, walking or any type of exercise
  • Coughing at night
  • Wheezing when coming into contact with cold air


  • According to Dr. Baz, early treatment is key when it comes to managing a condition that can easily turn severe.

    "If you seek the treatment early, you can prevent a lot of those patients from hospitalization or from going to the ER," he said.

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