Wednesday, April 03, 2013

2013 list of the most miserable U.S. cities for allergy sufferers...

Photo: Stewart Miles
Just in time for this year's pollen-apocalypse, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released their 11th annual ranking of the most miserable U.S. cities to live in if  you suffer from seasonal allergies.

Jackson, MS, claimed the top spot , followed by Knoxville, TN (#2) and Chattanooga, TN (#3).

Residents across the United States can actually expect more severe allergy conditions this year as an unusually wet winter and early warm temperatures lead to earlier tree pollination and higher levels of pollen and outdoor mold. Cities predicted to face a more challenging spring allergy season compared to one year ago include: Buffalo, NY (rising 10 spots to #15 out of 100 cities), Springfield, MA (rising from #74 to #18), Richmond, VA (rising from #46 to #22), Detroit, MI (rising from #50 to #26) and Toledo, OH (rising from #57 to #29).

"Severe weather patterns can bring higher temperatures, higher pollen levels and increased exposure to outdoor mold, resulting in spring allergies that can peak stronger and last longer," said Bill Berger , MD, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California.

Recent hurricanes, severe storms and tornadoes can also affect the severity of spring allergies. The increased presence of mold in areas damaged by floods can trigger allergic reactions. Major urban areas and locations with significant construction may also see an increased risk for severe allergies, because pollen from weeds proliferates in places with development projects. Finally, ground-level ozone pollution can affect allergy symptoms.

This year's ranking shows that nasal allergies are a problem nationwide, especially in southern states. Overall, 15 of the top 25 cities on this year's ranking are in the South. These findings are consistent with research showing that spring now arrives 10 to 14 days earlier than it did just 20 years ago, bringing with it increased pollen counts.

An interactive map of 100 cities, resources about diagnosis, prevention and treatment options, resources for physicians, and more information on the study methodology are available at

Here are the top 10:
1. Jackson, Mississippi
2. Knoxville, Tennessee
3. Chattanooga, Tennessee
4. McAllen, Texas
5. Louisville, Kentucky
6. Wichita, Kansas
7. Dayton, Ohio
8. Memphis, Tennessee
9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
10. Baton Rouge, Louisiana


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