No Place is Free From
Allergies in America,
According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2012
There is no place safe from allergies in America, and some cities are more problematic than others. The Fall Allergy Capitals is an annual
research project of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to identify “the 100 most challenging places to live with allergies” during the fall season.
This year, Louisville, KY, is named the #1 Fall Allergy Capital.
Fall is a time to enjoy beautiful colors and autumn weather outdoors. But for 40 million Americans with seasonal allergies, this time of year brings an unwelcome harvest: trillions of pollen particles travelling through the air right into your eyes, nose and mouth. “Everyone seems to be feeling allergies these days and fall is the most common allergy season after spring,” says Dr. Beth Corn, “No matter if it’s men, women or children, in the city, suburbs or the country, allergies don’t discriminate.”
No matter where a city ranks on the list of Fall Allergy
Capitals, it’s important for people to know if their hometown or area is
included. “Whether a city is ranked number 100 on the Allergy Capitals list
or number one, it’s essential for allergy sufferers to take the appropriate
steps to manage their allergies,” says Mike Tringale, Director of External
Affairs at AAFA. “Allergy sufferers should know what allergens trigger their
symptoms and, if appropriate, manage them by taking a medication that can
alleviate both outdoor and indoor allergies.”
In addition to outdoor allergies, people may suffer
during the fall from indoor allergies caused by common allergy triggers like
pet dander and dust mites. Ragweed and pollen can also travel indoors
through open windows and doors. Upper respiratory allergies, which can be
caused by both indoor and outdoor allergy triggers, can be a significant
challenge for people year round.
To help allergy suffers enjoy indoor and outdoor
activities this fall, AAFA is directing people to www.AllergyCapitals.com. By
visiting the website, Americans can learn if their city is an Allergy Capital
and get information about allergy symptoms, how to reduce exposure to
triggers, and how to better treat their symptoms.
Danica Schulte, M.D., of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, has seen many allergy sufferers head indoors each fall in an
attempt to escape their worst allergy triggers. “Many patients come to me
because they’re tired of missing out on outdoor activities they enjoy and I
assure them that they shouldn’t have to,” Dr. Schulte says.
The Allergy Capitals is an annual research
project of AAFA to identify “the 100 most challenging places to live with
allergies” in the spring and fall seasons. The top 25 Fall Allergy Capitals
for 2012 are (go to www.AllergyCapitals.com
for complete list):
- Louisville, KY
- Wichita, KS
- Knoxville, TN
- Jackson, MS
- McAllen, TX
- Dayton, OH
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Memphis, TN
- Madison, WI
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Chattanooga, TN
- Buffalo, NY
- New Orleans, LA
- Rochester, NY
- San Antonio, TX
- Little Rock, AR
- Birmingham, AL
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Tulsa, OK
- Youngstown, OH
- Syracuse, NY
- Omaha, NE
- Des Moines, IA
- Toledo, OH
- Providence, RI
The rankings are based on scientific analysis of three
factors for 100 metro areas. The data measured and compared each year
- Pollen scores (airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores)
- Number of allergy medications used per patient
- Number of allergy specialists per patient
This year's report indicates that more than fifty
percent of the United States’ population lives in one of the 100 Fall Allergy
Capital cities. However, Dayton, OH is ranked number one this year
due to a higher-than-average pollen score, higher use of allergy
medications per person, and lower-than-average access to allergy specialists,
compared to other cities on the list.
Nearly 40 million Americans have nasal allergies and over 10 million have allergic asthma.
For these millions of adults and children allergic to pollen, the next few months will push them
indoors to avoid wind-swept allergens and to ultimately escape the chronic symptoms of fall allergies:
runny nose and congestion, itchy and watery eyes, violent sneezing, and even coughing and wheezing for
people who have allergic asthma. However, even average Americans are spending 60% or more of their time
indoors and experts are increasingly cautioning everyone to pay attention to indoor air quality (IAQ), as well.
Indoor air can be worse than outdoor air. As a result, "everyone, especially those with allergies and asthma,
need to pay close attention to indoor air quality," advises Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, medical director of
Allergy & Asthma Care of New York and assistant clinical professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.
Household triggers like mold that grows in areas with high moisture, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in wood furniture,
flooring and traditional paints, or strong chemical odors from some cleaning products are common problems.
"Airborne triggers and irritants can be potentially serious problems and any home, school or office can be an obstacle
course if you have asthma or allergies," says Bassett. "But good air quality can be achieved through smart home solutions."
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a
not-for-profit organization founded in 1953, is the leading patient
organization for people with asthma and allergies, and the oldest and largest
asthma and allergy patient group in the world. AAFA provides practical
information, community based services and support through a national network
of chapters and support groups. AAFA develops health education, organizes
state and national advocacy efforts and funds research to find better
treatment and cures. Visit www.aafa.org
to learn more.
*AAFA is solely responsible
for the identification and ranking of the Fall Allergy Capitals list.
“Pollen score” is comprised of compressive recorded levels of airborne
grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores, and prevalence data for each of these
specific types of allergens.