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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

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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