We had serious wildfires in South Georgia earlier this year. For a few days, the air in Atlanta (hundreds of miles away from the fires) smelled ... bad.
While the smell was annoying, it really didn't bother me physically. I expected the same thing when we arrived in Southern California. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Almost immediately, my eyes grew watery and my throat filled with guck. I keep clearing my throat, but it doesn't seem to help. I've always consumed a lot of water, but these days, I am constantly craving it.
Today, CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and I met a researcher from the University of California San Diego. Dr. Kimberly Prather told us, "If you could see our lungs right now -- yours and mine -- they'd be black."
I can believe it. I am curious to know -- folks in Southern California -- have you had the same experience I've had?
-- By Jen Pifer, CNN Senior Medical Producer