From Our 2012 Archives
The 10 Worst Places for Fall Allergies in 2012
By Cari Nierenberg
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Oct. 5, 2012 -- Some natives of Louisville, Ky., needn't be surprised if they're sneezing while reading this article. Their city tops the list this year as the worst place to live in the U.S. for fall allergies.
To earn the No. 1 spot, Louisville received a "worse than average" rating for its pollen counts and allergy medication use by each patient. But it got a "better than average" rating for the number of allergy specialists available in the area.
Last year, Louisville placed sixth in this annual ranking of 100 metropolitan areas done by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). In all, six Southern cities made the country's top 10. Sacramento, Calif., was named the best place for people with autumn allergies to live.
The rankings are based on an analysis of three key factors: pollen and mold scores during fall 2011, the number of allergy medications used by people with allergies last fall, and the number of board-certified allergists per 10,000 patients.
This year's 10 worst places for fall allergies are:
This year's five best places for fall allergies are:
To see a complete listing of all 100 areas, visit the AAFA's Allergy Capitals web site.
Feeling Better This Fall
Ragweed pollen is the main trigger of fall allergies. This summer's heat and drought (a lack of rain keeps pollen floating in the air longer) likely means a rough fall for the nation's 40 million seasonal allergy sufferers.
Besides ragweed pollen, mold spores from piles of damp leaves can also thrive in the fall. Both of these culprits can make noses run or stuff up, as well as lead to the sniffles, sneezing, and watery eyes. For people with asthma, it can also lead to more wheezing and trouble breathing.
An allergy specialist can determine which pollen or molds are causing your symptoms, and prescribe treatment to help relieve them. Besides medication or allergy shots, you can also follow these tips to feel better this fall, whether outside or indoors:
SOURCES: News release, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology web site: "Outdoor Allergens: Tips to Remember."