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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Ignoring effects from New Mexico's seasonal allergies could lead to asthma

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Friday, May 3, 2024   

Toughing it out during spring allergy season is not in your best interest if you want to avoid asthma later in life.

New Mexico has plenty of grass and weed pollens carried by the wind which contribute to itchy, watery eyes, a stuffy nose and sneezing fits this time of year.

Dr. Osman Dokmeci, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico, suggested for those who suffer acutely, seek an allergy test and possibly medication to prevent asthma from taking hold.

"One out of 10 has asthma in America," Dokmeci pointed out. "Having seasonal allergies increases your chance of developing asthma at least fivefold."

He recommended treating allergies early and as aggressively as possible. May is "Asthma Awareness Month," which aims to bring attention to the health issue and highlight improvements in care and quality of life. Nationwide, asthma affects more than 25 million Americans, including 4 million children, and disproportionately affects certain racial and ethnic groups.

Allergies do not "cause" asthma but people who have allergies, or have family members who have allergies, are more likely to get asthma than those who do not. Research shows allergy season is starting earlier and lasting longer. A 2022 study from the University of Michigan found pollen count could increase by 200% by the end of the century due to climate change, which is why Dokmeci stressed it is important not to ignore the problem.

"There's no treatment that actually makes your asthma not happen," Dokmeci explained. "But once you develop asthma, there are good treatment options."

The estimated economic impact of asthma is more than $80 billion per year from direct and indirect costs, such as missed school and workdays.


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