Atlanta Tops List of Worst Allergy Cities
Group Gives Tips on How to Reduce Spring Allergy Symptoms
April 21, 2004 -- If you're coming to Atlanta, do what the natives do: Take your allergy pills, and carry lots of tissues.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America today announced its annual top 100 list of U.S. Spring Allergy Capitals.
The rankings reflect each city's pollen levels, use of allergy medications, and the ratio of certified allergists to residents.
The rankings change from year to year based on environmental factors. Atlanta's famous urban city of flowering trees -- coupled with a wet winter and a dry spring -- makes it this year's AAFA allergy capital. Last year, Louisville, Ky., won the dubious honor.
Here's the AAFA's top 50 worst cities for allergy this spring:
1. Atlanta (last year: 4)
2. Augusta, Ga./Aiken, S.C.
3. Louisville, Ky. (last year: 1)
4. Charlotte, N.C.-Gastonia, N.C.-Rock Hill, S.C. (last year: 5)
5. St. Louis (last year: 3)
6. Austin-San Marcos, Texas (last year: 2)
7. Springfield, Mass.
8. Little Rock-North Little Rock, Ark.
9. Knoxville, Tenn.
10. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa.
11. Orlando, Fla. (last year: 14)
12. Jackson, Miss.
13. Tulsa, Okla.
14. Chattanooga, Tenn.
15. Nashville, Tenn. (last year: 7)
16. Lexington, Ky.
17. Columbia, S.C.
18. Dallas/Ft. Worth (last year: 12)
19. Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C. (last year: 13)
20. Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas (last year: 20)
21. San Antonio (last year: 18)
22. Jacksonville, Fla. (last year: 19)
23. Philadelphia (last year: 33)
24. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
25. Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, N.C. (last year: 15)
26. Johnson City, Tenn.
27. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (last year: 34)
28. Memphis, Tenn. (last year: 22)
29. Madison, Wis.
30. Wichita, Kan.
31. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. (last year: 8)
32. Boston, (last year: 27)
33. Indianapolis (last year: 17)
34. Albuquerque, N.M. (last year: 11)
35. Hartford, Conn. (last year: 6)
36. Kansas City, Mo./Kan. (last year: 23)
37. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. (last year: 28)
38. Las Vegas (last year: 25)
39. Des Moines, Iowa
40. Tucson, Ariz.
41. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.
42. Baltimore-Hagerstown, Md. (last year: 26)
43. Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (last year: 10)
44. Fort Wayne, Ind.
45. Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, Mich. (last year: 10)
46. Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.
47. Oklahoma City (last year: 21)
48. New York (last year: 29)
49. Birmingham, Ala. (last year: 16)
50. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz. (last year: 24)
The AAFA has some simple steps that they suggest to help reduce symptoms and prevent allergies.
- Stay indoors during peak pollen times -- usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. -- or when humidity and winds are high.
- Keep your car windows closed when traveling.
- Dust surfaces and wash bedding often. Vacuum once or twice a week.
- Reduce moisture in bathrooms and in your kitchen. Fix leaks and clean moldy surfaces.