To say that winter has outlasted its welcome in much of the United States is an understatement, if judging by the complaints on social media. I understand that even now, the first half of April, the northern half of our country is still experiencing snowfall!
Oddly enough, the extreme winter weather and cooler than normal temperatures have many Americans complaining of symptoms commonly related to the warmer allergy season.
The following is an excerpt from a recent press release from Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
“Nearly 45 million Americans are living with nasal allergies and 25 million have asthma,” says Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, Medical Director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY and an Ambassador for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). “Allergy and asthma patients already have a chronic sensitivity to things like pollen, mold and other airborne allergens, but they can also be more susceptible to rapid changes in temperature, moisture and air quality,” says Bassett. “A blending of the winter and spring means these patients are at risk of multiple symptoms simultaneously.”
This fickle combination of spring and winter meteorological phenomena and extreme precipitation means an increased presence of mold in areas affected by all this moisture as well as intermittent tree pollination, all of which can trigger allergic reactions. “No matter what time of the year it is, and no matter what Mother Nature sends our way, people with allergies need to be prepared and proactive to avoid allergy misery,” says Dr. Bassett. “Now we have the ability to prevent symptoms before they even occur, but patients have to take the first step to visit their doctors and to get ahead of their disease.”
One readily available resource in getting ahead of environmental allergies is AAFA’s recently released Spring Allergy Capitals™ report. The study ranks the 100 most challenging cities to live in with allergies in the United States. “It’s the 12th year for this report, and it’s a reminder that, no matter where you live or what the outdoor conditions are, people need to take allergies seriously and have a treatment plan,” says Mike Tringale, AAFA’s Senior Vice President for External Affairs.
Curious about the top allergy offenders? The below Top 20 list is courtesy of AAFA. Want more information on how your city and/or state ranks? Visit the complete findings here.
Top-20: The 2014 Spring Allergy Capitals™ (Full List of 100 Cities at www.AllergyCapitals.com)
|2014 Rank||Last Year’s Rank||
|3||10||Baton Rouge, LA||91.93|
|4||9||Oklahoma City, OK||91.19|
|13||43||New York, NY||85.46|
|15||24||San Antonio, TX||83.63|
|18||13||New Orleans, LA||80.99|
|20||31||St. Louis, MO||79.50|
Many thanks to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Mike Tringale for the above information and for their express permission to share it with you!