Worst Cities for Allergy Sufferers

From the WebMD Archives

April 5, 2002 -- Where you live may determine just how miserable your allergies are this season. A new report from Multidata/SDI ranks the top 25 worst American cities for spring allergies.

The warm, humid climate of Tampa, Fla., put it at the top of the list, followed by Louisville, Ky., and Orlando, Fla. In fact, southern cities dominate the top 25, with 17 cities making the list. The list is based on the frequency of spring culprits, such as grass and tree pollen, in each city.

For the 40 million Americans who suffer from allergies, this year's mild winter and warm spring mean spring allergy season is in full bloom.

Experts say the best way to avoid the runny nose and watery eyes caused by allergies is to avoid exposure to allergy triggers. That means your should limit time outdoors when pollen counts are high, keep your car windows rolled up when driving, and use the air conditioner instead, and avoid walking in parks or woods when trees are blooming.

But if you do suffer from allergies and want relief, there are many prescription allergy medications now available from your doctor, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays containing strong inflammation fighters called "corticosteroids."

Although some of these medications have been available for years, many people don't know about them or don't believe they work. A new poll conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline found that only 28% of Americans believe prescription nasal sprays are effective for treating nasal allergies. That's despite the fact that these medications have been proven effective and work by relieving nasal inflammation directly at the source.

Here are the rest of the top 25 worst spring allergy cities:

  1. Tampa, Fla.
  2. Louisville, Ky.
  3. Orlando, Fla.
  4. Rochester, N.Y.
  5. Greensboro, Ky.
  6. San Francisco
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Little Rock, Ark.
  10. Savannah, Ga.
  11. Dallas
  12. Wilmington, Del.
  13. Greenville, S.C.
  14. Charleston, W.Va.
  15. Seattle
  16. Cincinnati
  17. Tulsa, Okla.
  18. Indianapolis
  19. Charlotte, N.C.
  20. Knoxville, Tenn.
  21. Nashville, Tenn.
  22. Dayton, Ohio
  23. Lubbock, Texas
  24. St. Louis
  25. Washington