Allergy Season is nothing to sneeze at

A woman standing outside sneezes into a tissue

Spring is a beautiful time of year when all the flowers and trees are in bloom, but for an allergy sufferer it’s not a time to smell the roses. When you have allergies, you have a higher sensitivity to certain substances, so here are a few ideas to help ease your allergy worries.

The substances that often cause an allergic reaction can include pollens, foods, or small organisms. Common signs of an allergy may include sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.

Bad news for people in these cities

In some cities, every year is a bad year for allergies. According to the Spring Allergy Capitals report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the cities listed below are the worst cities in America for springtime allergies in 2019. Several factors are considered when ranking these cities. These include pollen scores and the number of allergy medicines used per patient. The rankings also include the number of board-certified allergists per patient. The top 10 cities with the worst allergy levels in 2019:1

  1. McAllen, Texas
  2. Jackson, Mississippi
  3. Providence, Rhode Island
  4. Memphis, Tennessee
  5. Springfield, Massachusetts
  6. Louisville, Kentucky
  7. New Orleans, Louisiana
  8. Scranton, Pennsylvania
  9. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  10. Richmond, Virginia

For the full list of Top 100 cities, go to the AAFA’s Allergy Capitals,pdf opens new window report.

Assuming that moving is out of the question, here are some ideas to help you deal with seasonal allergies.
Whenever possible, avoid exposure to the things that trigger your allergic reactions.

Avoiding triggers may be as simple as closing your windows and using high-efficiency filters in your air conditioner to minimize pollen circulating through your home.2

Planning a vacation? While pollen counts might be somewhat lower at the beach, don’t expect to escape it completely.

If outdoor exercise or walking your pet is part of your daily routine, avoid early mornings (when pollen counts are highest) and dry, windy days. Rain helps clear pollen in the air, so exercising or walking your pet outside after a good rain may be the best time.2

Pets are notorious for sneaking pollen into our homes! A quick rinse with a hose or a vigorous brushing before going inside may help when your dog’s been out on a high-pollen day.

Check your local TV station, newspaper, or the Internet for pollen counts.2

And don’t neglect your own hair and coat. If you’ve been outside when the pollen is high, shake out your clothing and brush your hair before entering the house. Shower to rinse pollens from your hair and skin.2 If, despite your best efforts, you find yourself sniffling and sneezing, there are a number of home remedies as well as over-the-counter or prescription medicines that may help ease your suffering. These may include topical nose sprays, prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines, allergy shots and nasal lavage. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.