The Most Challenging Places to Live with Fall Allergies
If you live in Kentucky, Kansas, or Tennessee, you are probably feeling the pain. Cities in these states are at the top of the list for those dubbed “Fall Allergy Capitals” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
About 40 million Americans suffer with seasonal allergies and although certain areas tend to be worse than others, no one is immune. “Everyone seems to be feeling allergies these days and fall is the most common allergy season after spring,” says Dr. Beth Corn, a Board Certified Allergist in New York City and a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “No matter if it’s men, women or children, in the city, suburbs or the country, allergies don’t discriminate.”
Last year, the top Allergy City – or the most challenging place to live if you are a seasonal allergy sufferer – was Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville has dropped in the rankings to number three and has turned over the top spot to Louisville, KY (ranked number six last year). The rankings are based on pollen count, medicine utilization by residents, and access to allergy specialists within the region.
The number two spot on the Top Fall Allergy Capitals of the US belongs to Wichita, Kansas. The remainder of the top ten are (4) Jackson MS, (5) McAllen TX, (6) Dayton OH, (7) Oklahoma City OK, (8) Memphis TN, (9) Madison WI, and (10) Baton Rouge LA. For the entire list of the top 100 Fall Allergy Capitals, visit www.aafa.org.
Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to substances in the environment. The primary fall trigger for allergies is ragweed pollen. This causes an itchy runny nose, nasal congestion, repeated sneezing, watery eyes, inflamed sinuses and, in severe cases, difficulty breathing. Allergic rhinitis affects more than 12 percent of the US population.
There is no cure for allergies, but they can be managed with proper prevention and treatment. The AAFA offers these tips that are helpful no matter where you live:
1. Keep windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from blowing into the house.
2. Control dust mites on the bed. Look for a Certified asthma & allergy friendly mattress, like the Breathe mattress from Spring Air, and wash sheets weekly in hot water (130-degrees F) to kill mites and their eggs.
3. Use a quality vacuum that has a high-efficiency filter weekly to keep indoor allergens to a minimum.
4. Change the air filter in your furnace regularly. Filters can trap lots of dust and allergens, so replace them every 30-90 days. Look for Certified asthma & allergy friendly filters, like Lysol brand air filters.
5. Reduce the presence of mold by decreasing moisture around the house, keeping humidity below 50% and clearing the yard of damp firewood and leaves.
SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America