OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City has ranked in the top 10 of the most challenging cities in the United States for allergies, according to a new report.
On Wednesday, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) released its annual Allergy Capitals report for 2020.
The report identifies the most challenging places to live with spring and fall allergies in the top 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S.
The top 10 Allergy Capitals for 2020 are:
- Richmond, Virginia
- Scranton, Pennsylvania
- Springfield, Massachusetts
- Hartford, Connecticut
- McAllen, Texas
- New Haven, Connecticut
- San Antonio, Texas
- Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tulsa was named 23rd.
“For more than 50 years, the prevalence of allergic diseases has risen and it’s no coincidence that during the same time, pollen seasons have become stronger and longer due to warmer temperatures,” says Kenneth Mendez, AAFA CEO and president. “The Allergy Capitals report helps raise awareness about the impact of seasonal allergies, how people can prepare and start proper treatment. Local communities can also use the report as a tool to identify how to better meet the needs of their residents living with allergies and allergic asthma.”
Seasonal nasal allergies cause runny and congested noses, inflamed sinuses, relentless sneezing and other symptoms each spring through fall. Pollen can also trigger asthma attacks.
Tree pollen season starts as early as January in some parts of the U.S. and continues through summer.
In the fall, weed pollen, especially ragweed pollen, is responsible for symptoms.
“You are not alone in dealing with allergies,” said Laura Chong, M.D., Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic Board-Certified Allergist. “Oklahoma City consistently remains in the top allergy and asthma capitals each year. You can take steps to limit your exposure to seasonal allergens like pollen; however, it is impossible to avoid pollen completely. It’s important to talk to your allergist about an allergy treatment plan to keep your symptoms under control.”
Treatment options can include over-the-counter or prescription allergy medicines. Allergy immunotherapy can help reduce or prevent allergy symptoms. Treatments are most effective if they are started before the allergy season begins.