(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 andprescription allergy medications per patient and the number ofboard-certified allergists per patient.
The foundation ranked 100of 320 cities in the continental USA for the 10th year. Its websiteincludes an interactive map of the top 100 with pollen scores as wellas resources for patients and doctors. The list of cities was fundedthis year by Dymista, a nasal spray for relief of allergy symptoms.
"Wedo this ranking to make people aware of their environment and what theymay face," says Angel Waldron, a consumer health advocate for thefoundation, based in Landover, Md.
Outdoor allergies (also calledseasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever) occur when tree pollens andother outdoor allergens are inhaled into the nose and lungs.
Severalsoutheastern cities sprang up in the list this season. The southeasterncoastal 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 andwalnut, Waldron says.
"With climate change, they are exposed to higher temperatures for longer periods," she adds.
WilliamBerger, an adviser for the foundation, says it is important to see aboard-certified allergist for diagnosis and treatment. He says it's amisperception that kids will outgrow allergies:
"Most people will have symptoms throughout life," adds Berger, an allergist in Mission Viejo, Calif.
Waldronsays the list is not intended to encourage people to move away from the"worst" cities. "We encourage people to use this list as a talkingguide 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.