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Top 50 Fall Allergy Cities Named

Allergy Symptoms Worse in the Fall in Some Cities
By
WebMD Health News

Sept. 3, 2003 -- Drum roll please ... the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has released its list of the country's top 50 fall allergy cities.

In parts of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas and Michigan -- and numerous other cities across the country -- fall is actually the worst season for allergy symptoms, more so than spring, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Here's the foundation's list of the top 50 fall allergy cities:

1. Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa.

2. Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, N.C.

3. Louisville, Ky.

4. Austin, Texas.

5. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich.

6. Memphis, Tenn.

7. Oklahoma City, Okla.

8. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.

9. Kansas City, Mo.

10. St. Louis, Mo.

11. Indianapolis, Ind.

12. Columbus, Ohio.

13. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.

14. Charlotte, N.C.

15. San Antonio, Texas.

16. Birmingham-Tuscaloosa, Ala.

17. Cincinnati, Ohio.

18. Milwaukee, Wis.

19. Houston, Texas.

20. Detroit, Mich.

21. New Orleans, La.

22. Nashville, Tenn.

23. Phoenix, Ariz.

24. Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C.

25. Pittsburgh, Pa.

26. Denver, Colo.

27. Hartford-New Haven, Conn.

28. Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M.

29. Atlanta, Ga.

30. Chicago, Ill.

31. Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem, N.C.

32. Las Vegas, Nev.

33. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio.

34. Jacksonville-Brunswick, Fla.

35. Salt Lake City, Utah.

36. Orlando-Daytona-Melbourne, Fla.

37. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.

38. Philadelphia, Pa.

39. Boston, Mass.

40. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.

41. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Fla.

42. Baltimore, Md.

43. Washington, D.C.

44. Providence, R.I.

45. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.

46. Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.

47. New York, N.Y.

48. Los Angeles, Calif.

49. Portland, Ore.

50. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.

How They Were Chosen

Here's the key criteria for choosing the cities:

  • Average recorded fall pollen levels over the past seven years.
  • Length of the peak fall season for the most offensive pollen types.
  • Number of antihistamine prescriptions written in the last year for allergy symptoms.
  • Number of board-certified allergists per capita.

Runny nose, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and itchy throat are caused by colds -- but they're also classic seasonal allergy symptoms, says Derek Johnson, MD, an allergist at Temple University Medical Center, in a news release.

"In some cities, the pollination of different plants, changing weather, and other environmental factors can cause a greater impact for allergy sufferers during the fall than the spring," Johnson explains.

The Allergy Action Plan, an educational campaign on the AAFA's website, gives these and more helpful hints on preventing allergy symptoms:

  • Spend more time inside when pollen and mold counts are high.
  • Keep windows closed and use an air filter that is cleaned regularly.
  • Wash bedding often.

The educational campaign was made possible by an unrestricted grant from Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, the makers of the allergy medication Alavert.

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