How Valley residents can protect themselves from pollutants and dust

Blowing dust and wildfire smoke can be a dangerous combination.

For Deborah Dexter-Mendez, this means a flare-up in her allergies.

"It creates mucus which accumulates and then gives me a headache," she says.

She says her allergies have been bad the last couple weeks.

Now with the Briceburg Fire burning in Mariposa County and dust picking up, Valley residents are going to want to take extra steps to protect themselves over the next few days.

"The problem with any smoke is that there are particles that get into your nose and get into your lungs and not only do they irritate the lungs and the nose, they have chemicals that will trigger a reaction," says Dr. A.M. Aminian of the Allergy Institute.

Dr. Aminian says if your eyes start to hurt that is a sign it's affecting you.

Then you will start to feel drainage in your throat.

So he recommends you to do a simple nasal rinse and shower when you get home.

"If you don't you let them sit there overnight, then the next morning you get up congested, just plugged, ear plugging, your eyes hurting, and your nose is congested," he says.

Looking ahead, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has issued a cautionary health statement.

They want to remind Valley residents that the pollutants in the air can trigger asthma attacks as well as increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
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