Allergy season set to congest nation

Birds are returning. Flowers are breaking new ground. Days are getting longer and temperatures are heating up. All this can only mean one thing — allergy season is upon us once more. And according to the eleventh installation of the Allergy Foundation of America’s (AAFA) Spring Allergy Capitals report, this year is sure to bring intensity and staying power.

The potential for severe allergies and prolonged symptoms is at an apex for Spring 2013, the report contends, mostly due to sporadic weather patterns and a prevalence of heavy-hitting storms and floods.

“Severe weather patterns can bring higher temperatures, higher pollen levels and increased exposure to outdoor mold, resulting in spring allergies that can peak stronger and last longer," said Bill Berger, MD, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California, in a prepared statement. "Too often, people with seasonal allergies suffer silently while their symptoms worsen year after year. Allergy sufferers need to learn more about allergies and visit an allergy specialist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Often more can be done to relieve allergy symptoms that interfere with daily life."

Analysts looked to different areas of the country and analyzed allergy risk by three categories: Pollen score (which averages out to about 300 grains/cubic meter air daily), medicine utilization per patient (averaging out to 1.04 medications per estimated patient) and board-certified allergists per patient (averaged to 1.05 board-certified allergists per 10,000 estimated patients).

Compared to years previous, northern regions are expected to face an elevated allergy risk. Buffalo, N.Y. (rising 10 spots to #15 out of 100 cities), Springfield, Mass. (rising from #74 to #18), Richmond, Va. (rising from #46 to #22), Detroit (rising from #50 to #26) and Toledo, Ohio (rising from #57 to #29), all jumped considerably up the AAFA chart to propel such a theory.

For southern states in particular, nasal allergies will be especially burdensome. Furthermore, 15 of the top 25 states in the AAFA rankings are southern states, indicating to analysts that sinus afflictions remain at the top tier of allergy affect. [Refer to Figure 1 for a list of the top 20 most allergy-prone cities.]

Figure 1:

All information and data courtesy of the AAFA’s 2013 Spring Allergy Capitals report. Presentation by PhysBizTech.

“The severe allergy conditions expected in many cities across the country means more challenges for patients, and a need for powerful and effective treatment options for them to help manage their condition," added Mike Tringale, vice president of external affairs at AAFA, in a news release. 

As allergies remain without a pure curative alleviant, the AAFA continues to stress the importance of patient education regarding inherent allergy risks in certain locales so that individuals may avoid triggers, such as pollen and outdoor mold.

"AAFA encourages the 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies to learn more, consult an allergy specialist, and insist on adequate symptom relief," said Tringale.

Find the full interactive report, sponsored in part by Dymista, here.