Allergies Could Hit Hard This Fall if High Temps, Storms, and Tornadoes Strike as Predicted
This fall could be a perfect storm for allergy sufferers, as global warming conditions boost ragweed levels and fall storms and tornadoes disperse allergens and outdoor mold, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The 2013 Fall Allergy Capitals™ report released today by AAFA ranks the most challenging cities to live in with allergies this fall in the United States. This new list shows the increased potential for severe and prolonged allergy symptoms as allergy sufferers endure unusually high fall temperatures. For specific allergy risks in 100 US cities and tips on managing allergy symptoms, visit www.AllergyCapitals.com.
The Fall Allergy Capitals report is an independent research project of AAFA and is sponsored by DYMISTA® (azelastine HCl and fluticasone propionate) nasal spray 137 mcg / 50 mcg per spray. DYMISTA is a prescription nasal spray indicated for the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients 12 years of age and older who require treatment with both azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate for symptomatic relief. For full prescribing information for DYMISTA, please visit dymista.com.
“If allergies are left untreated or treated with the wrong medication, it can cause some serious complications,” said Michael A. Kaliner, MD of the Institute for Asthma and Allergy in Chevy Chase, Maryland. “It is important for allergy sufferers to learn more about the signs and symptoms of fall allergies and to visit an allergy specialist to seek treatment for their seasonal allergy symptoms.”
There are several factors that could make this fall allergy season particularly difficult:
- *Recent studies suggest that rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could be extending ragweed season by as much as a month or more. This is especially true in the northern states in the US where there are now longer periods of warm weather than before.
- *Pollen from weeds is a greater problem in the fall than in the spring, and fall weeds are surprisingly more prevalent than spring gardens in major urban areas and locations with significant construction.
- *Although the season has gotten off to a late start, with an above-average hurricane season predicted in the East and tornadoes expected in the Midwest, high winds from these weather patterns can cause increases in pollen distribution, leading to an increase in allergy symptoms.
- *Outdoor mold resulting from previous storms, including Superstorm Sandy, continues to grow and could be spread further by fall weather and wind patterns.
Symptoms from allergic reactions to pollen and outdoor mold are often confused with a cold or the flu, particularly in the fall. This misdiagnosis can prevent patients from getting the correct treatment and lead to other medical problems.
“AAFA encourages the approximately 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies to learn more and consult an allergy specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of seasonal allergy symptoms,” said Mike Tringale, senior vice president of external affairs at AAFA.
There is no cure for allergies. Nearly half of seasonal allergy patients are unhappy with how slowly their prescription medicines work and many patients still experience breakthrough of severe symptoms despite using a seasonal allergy medication. The best way for people to manage seasonal allergies is to avoid allergy triggers like pollen and outdoor mold, get properly diagnosed, and use effective medications to treat symptoms.
Highlights from this year’s Fall Allergy Capitals report include:
- *Wichita, KS claimed the top spot, followed by Jackson, MS (#2) and Knoxville, TN (#3).
- *Charleston, SC showed the biggest jump from last fall’s allergy season, rising 16 spots from #42 to #26.
- *Nashville, TN went from #36 to #24, an increase of 12 over last year’s rankings.
- *In the major metropolitan areas, Dallas, TX (up 8 places to #18) and Detroit, MI (up 9 places to #19) joined New Orleans, LA (#11) in the top 20.
An interactive map of 100 cities along with resources about diagnosis, prevention, and treatment for people with allergies, resources for physicians, and more information on the study methodology are available at www.AllergyCapitals.com.