(USA TODAY) -- Jackson, Miss., is the worst U.S. city for people with allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The foundation releases its list of "2013 Spring Allergy Capitals"
on Tuesday, based on pollen scores, the number of over-the-counter and
prescription allergy medications per patient and the number of
board-certified allergists per patient.
Full List: 100 top "Spring Allergy Capitals" in U.S.
The foundation ranked 100
of 320 cities in the continental USA for the 10th year. Its website
includes an interactive map of the top 100 with pollen scores as well
as resources for patients and doctors. The list of cities was funded
this year by Dymista, a nasal spray for relief of allergy symptoms.
do this ranking to make people aware of their environment and what they
may face," says Angel Waldron, a consumer health advocate for the
foundation, based in Landover, Md.
Outdoor allergies (also called
seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever) occur when tree pollens and
other outdoor allergens are inhaled into the nose and lungs.
southeastern cities sprang up in the list this season. The southeastern
coastal region has a number of pollinating trees, such as red cedar,
hackberry, elm, willow, poplar, bald cypress, bayberry, wax myrtle, ash,
birch, hickory, pecan, paper mulberry, sycamore, mulberry, oak and
walnut, Waldron says.
"With climate change, they are exposed to higher temperatures for longer periods," she adds.
Berger, an adviser for the foundation, says it is important to see a
board-certified allergist for diagnosis and treatment. He says it's a
misperception that kids will outgrow allergies:
"Most people will have symptoms throughout life," adds Berger, an allergist in Mission Viejo, Calif.
says the list is not intended to encourage people to move away from the
"worst" cities. "We encourage people to use this list as a talking
guide with a board-certified allergist."
Top 10 worst cities for allergy sufferers
- Jackson, Miss.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
- Chattanooga, Tenn.
- McAllen, Texas
- Dayton, Ohio
- Oklahoma City
- Baton Rouge
Perhaps surprisingly for those of us living in the Sunshine State, no Florida city broke the top 50. Jacksonville is the first at #52, while here in the Bay area, Lakeland is #74, Tampa is #76 and Sarasota is #96.