Summer is almost over and, in many areas of the country, the leaves will soon begin to turn. But that doesn't mean you can put away your allergy medicine just yet.
More than 40 million Americans are plagued by seasonal allergies, or hay fever, a phenomenon associated with the blooming buds and plentiful pollen of spring and summertime.
Few are aware that seasonal allergies can be just as potent during the autumn months. Yet no matter when they strike, the symptoms are often the same: nasal congestion, watery eyes, runny nose and irritated sinuses.
Hay fever is mainly caused by the pollen spores of ragweed plants, which are found in large numbers in the Eastern and Midwestern areas of the country. Individuals who experience spring allergies often find their symptoms are triggered by ragweed as well. Another autumn allergy culprit: mold. Until temps dip into the freezing digits, mold spores maintain a prolific presence outdoors.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) releases an annual list of the top 100 cities plagued by problems with fall allergies. Coincidentally, the areas that ranked highest in 2012 included several popular mid-western metros:
1. Louisville, KY
2. Wichita, KS
3. Knoxville, TN
And the least troublesome cities for autumn allergies?
98. Stockton, CA
99. Portland, OR
100. Sacramento, CA.
The rankings were based not only on a region's pollen prevalence, but also the ratio of allergy specialists to allergy suffers as well as the frequency of allergy medication usage in the area.
For methods to lessen your fall allergies, click here.
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