Dallasites love to whine about their allergies. Turns out, they have good reason: The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released its list of spring 2014 allergy capitals in the United States, and Dallas ranks No 7 out of 100.
Our fellow allergy-suffering cities in Texas include McAllen (No. 10), San Antonio (No. 15), Houston (No. 28) and Austin (No. 50).
AAFA uses three different factors to determine its rankings: average pollen count in the air, the use of allergy medications by local patients and the number of board certified allergists available to local patients. External affairs manager Sanaz Eftekhari explains that the purpose of the list is to prepare citizens for allergy seasons.
“As you can see, the South dominates the list,” Eftekhari says. “And each city’s ranking is relative to the top city, Louisville, Kentucky, which is given a score of 100. But among the top there’s a small difference between each city. If one city has a year with just a slight increase in the amount of pollen, it will jump ahead.”
Texas cities saw a major increase in allergy rankings this year. Dallas climbed 16 spots, Austin jumped 14 spots, and Houston leapfrogged Austin by moving up 30 spots.
Eftekhari says there’s no definitive answer as to why Texas cities are experiencing substantial increases in allergies, but she does note that weather can have a major effect on how potent an allergy season can become.
“Nature and weather have a great impact on the spread of pollen, which can easily travel via wind for up to 500 miles,” she says. “But no matter where you fall on the list, it’s important to see your physicians. This list is meant to make people more proactive. Most allergy medications are meant to be prophylactic, in that they prevent allergy reactions beforehand.”
For the complete rankings of America’s Allergy Capitals and for more resources about preventing allergies, visit AAFA’s official website.