HOUSTON – There’s bad news for Houstonians.
The city has ranked high on a list of the allergy capitals in the United States, according to a report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. This nonprofit health group’s mission is to help people with allergies and asthma and provide resources to them.
Houston earned the 12th spot on the list and Dallas was selected for the second spot.
These are the allergy capitals:
1. Wichita, Kan.
3. Scranton, Pa.
4. Oklahoma City, Okla.
5. Tulsa, Okla.
6. Sarasota, Fla.
7. Cape Coral, Fla.
8. Orlando, Fla.
9. Des Moines, Iowa
10. Greenville, S.C.
11. Virginia Beach, Va.
13. Little Rock, Ark.
15. Lakeland, Fla.
16. Raleigh, N.C.
17. Palm Bay, Fla.
18. Tampa, Fla.
19. Greensboro, N.C.
20. Rochester, N.Y.
Other Texas cities received lower rankings: McAllen (25), San Antonio (37), El Paso (39) and Austin (97).
The AAFA created this report using information from the 100 largest cities. They also used statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The organization created the report and focused on pollen scores for tree, grass and weed pollen, the number of people that use over-the counter medicine for allergies and the amount of allergy specialists in the city.
“Climate change has caused the growing seasons to get longer and warmer, leading to higher tree, grass, and weed pollen counts. Some parts of the United States now have pollen year-round,” the AAFA report said.
The report added that the warmer weather also hovers over big cities and affects air pollution.
It’s unfortunate that Houston was listed as an allergy capital, but there are things we can do to treat these symptoms.
Tips to treat allergies
- Check pollen counts and plan outdoor events when the pollen is low.
- Make sure to keep windows closed when high pollen counts are expected.
- Use certified asthma and allergy friendly air conditioning filters or a HEPA filter.
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays can help decrease swelling in your nose and protect against allergies.
- Antihistamines can help with allergy symptoms such as sneezing, eye irritation and runny nose.
During immunotherapy, patients undergo long-term treatment to get rid of allergies or reduce them. There are two versions of immunotherapy: allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy.
To see how the pollen counts and air quality is in Houston right now, go here.