Springtime is not only a time to appreciate the beauty of new blooms, it is also the time of year that many appreciate the creation of antihistamines.
The “100 worst cities for allergies in the United States,” list was recently released with Knoxville Tennessee coming in at number one. Louisville, Kentucky was a close second on the list this year, with Charlotte, North Carolina in third place for offering misery to people who suffer from allergies.
See complete list of 100 worst cities in the US for allergy sufferers here.
Allergies can be a nightmare for people who suffer from symptoms from these irritants in the environment. Now that spring has sprung, the battle for many begins with staving off those symptoms. Eyes that are red, itchy and feel as if they have been rubbed with sand paper, running noses, sore throat, head congestion and that annoying sneeze are just some of the symptoms experienced by people who are allergic to the springtime’s environment.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has released this list for the last nine years. Dr. William Burks, professor and chief of pediatric and allergy immunology at Duke University Medical Center tells ABC News that “allergy symptoms in the spring are caused by a significant increase in the tree and grass pollen.” He went on to say that “the climate in these cities is good for a long and heavy pollen season.”
Yellow pollen coats the sidewalks, roads, cars, and houses in springtime in many of these cities on the list. When it rains, the water is mustard yellow as it runs down the roads and sidewalks and pools into puddles. Along with the pollen, Burks says that “other environment irritants, such as air pollution can exacerbate the person’s symptoms.”
Seasonal tree, grass, weed, pollens, and mold spores are the culprits for most allergy sufferers and it is during the spring that these irritants are prevalent.
Three factors went into the ranking system that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America used to grade these cities as the top 100 worst cities for allergies.
1. Tree pollen prevalence.
2. The number of allergy medications used by residents in the area.
3. The number of allergy specialists in the area.
Warmer climates offer much longer pollen seasons with the various trees, grasses and weeds giving off their pollen. One of the main culprits in the East Coast states is ragweed. The mountain states do not have ragweed as a factor of allergies. Each region offers different allergens, but the symptoms of allergies are all about the same.
“April allergies are almost always tree pollen allergies, as they tend to be the most highly local pollens. Small local variations in the tree population may carry a lot more weight for a specific individual than the total tree pollen counts for the metro area,” claims Dr. Daniel Maddox, a consultant in the department of allergic diseases and internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Maddox discussed the allergy variations with ABC News.
40 million Americans suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies and allergy is the fifth leading chronic disease in the US for all ages, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Reference: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, ABC News