High winds blow particulate matter into the Valley

FRESNO, Calif.

Dr. AM Aminian with the Allergy Institute has seen more patients over the past few days, than usual. "We see quite a few people we haven't seen for a while that come back this time of year."

Thursday, his Northeast Fresno office was full of people complaining of respiratory problems.

Dr. Aminian said, "We see people coming in because they have colds, they have a virus, they have a headache, their eyes are irritated, they have lots of drainage in the back of their throat."

Dr. Aminian says high winds have blown particulate matter into the Valley. Harmful amounts of it can irritate the lungs. A drop in temperatures only makes the problem worse. Just ask Reina Lopez, who suffers from asthma.

Reina Lopez said, "And that's the reason I'm here to see doctor aminian because I've been feeling horrible, miserable, with the allergies with the weather and all that."

Dr. Aminian advises people to take their allergy medication. He also recommends, if you're inside a heated home, keep the humidity around 40-percent, by placing bowls of water around. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has some tips of its own, especially for those planning to light a fire during these colder nights.

Jaime Holt with the Air Pollution Control District said, "Use a manufactured wood log, use clean dry firewood and of course, never burn trash that can be really toxic depending on the trash you're burning."

Air district officials also advise people to check their website daily to see what days are permissible to burn.

Holt said, "Here in the Valley, we have some of the worst air quality in the nation, and even though air quality has improved dramatically, we still really struggle."

Another piece of advice is to stay inside and limit your exercise.

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