A combination of high pollen counts, high use of allergy medications and a lack of allergists to treat patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis has earned Louisville, KY, the distinction of ranking the most challenging place in the country to live with fall allergies in 2014.
The city ranked fourth on last year’s list. But earlier this year, it was also named the top 2014 Spring Allergy Capital.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks cities twice a year to raise awareness of the more than 45 million Americans who live with nasal allergies.
Fall can be particularly challenging due to its high pollen levels, the foundation reports. This year’s warmer temperatures have made 2014 especially hard for people with allergies.
"Ragweed pollen levels are on the rise due to warmer climate temperatures, increased greenhouse gases and a longer fall pollen season," says Clifford Bassett, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York. "This may be responsible for more bothersome fall allergy symptoms.
“And as fall brings in cooler weather, we tend to spend more time inside, further exposing us to indoor molds, pet dander and the like."
Following Louisville at the top of the 2014 Fall Allergy Capital list, released Oct. 30, are (in order of rank):
People in those cities and elsewhere who are genetically prone to fall allergies may experience a number of symptoms, including:
To help your patients who are prone to fall allergies breathe a little easier this season, suggest these prevention tips and, when necessary, remedies for symptom management.
Two of the big causes of most fall allergies are ragweed pollen and mold. To keep exposure to a minimum, patients can:
Over-the-counter and prescription remedies can help manage allergy symptoms. Available options include:
"The key is,” Bassett explains, “to be proactive and have an allergy action plan to reduce, prevent and manage symptoms more effectively.”