Spring is on our doorstep, bringing with it allergies and making the season a nightmare for millions of Americans. But this year things are set to become even worse for those sensitive to pollen.
The unsually cold winter is to blame for severe allergies in 2010, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Senior meteorologist at AccuWeather John Feerick told the news provider that this “may have helped delay some of the plants from blooming as early as they may have wanted to“. He added that increased allergies can be put down to “the fact that everything is coming out all at once“.
Furthermore, high winds and stormy weather is expected to increase the spread of pollen: “We had a perfect storm this year,” Dr. William Storms, professor at University of Colorado and a clinician told the AP. “It’s the worst I’ve seen in 10 years.”
Outdoor allergies, also known as hayfever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, occur when the patient experiences an adverse reaction when inhaling pollen produced by grass, trees and weeds as well as mold spores. Springtime and summer are traditionally the worst times of year for allergy sufferers, as this is when plants are in full bloom.
Tree pollen is usually worst in March, April and early May, while grass pollen is highest in April, May and June, allergist Dr. Robert Overholt told CNN.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) will soon bring out its annual list of allergy capitals in the U.S. Cities are ranked on the basis of the amount of pollen found in the air, the number of allergy medication used per patient and the amount of specialists per sufferer.
Last year, McAllen, Texas came out top, followed by Wichita in Kansas and Louisville, Kentucky. But the highest ranking city of 2010 is reportedly expected to be Knoxville, Tennessee.
Michael Tringale of AAFA told CNN that “There’s a really obvious concentration of these capitals” in the mid-Atlantic regions and the South Atlantic regions, with Knoxville being consistently in the top 10.
The expert added that the “allergy capital” idea came about because the AAFA was flooded with phone calls from allergy sufferers asking, “Where should I move?”.
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