There’s a new list out, ranking the areas of the country that are the worst for people with seasonal allergies.
Though it may still feel like winter in some parts of the country, the experts expect this allergy season to be a bad one.
For suburban Atlanta resident Kimone Duncan, the coughing and itchiness that come with spring allergies are intense.
“Oh my gosh, it’s death to me. I just want to hide. Put something over my face because I don’t want to get anything inside of me, the pollen. Oh my gosh, I dread it,” said Duncan.
The Atlanta allergy and asthma clinic is already busy.
“We are definitely seeing more patients having difficulty with these higher tree pollen counts,” said a doctor.
From there to the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C., rising temperatures means pollen from trees and flowering plants.
“We’re seeing earlier spring seasons and late-ending fall seasons. This is problematic in certain parts of the country in particular where the pollen season starts as early as January,” said Dr. Michael Foggs.
Every year allergists rank the most difficult places to live if you have spring allergies. The worst city this year is Jackson, Mississippi. But northern cities are increasingly on the list — with Buffalo, New York and Detroit, Michigan in the top thirty.
Some are pointing to climate change. One study last year linked the nation’s rising temperatures to increased pollen counts and a longer allergy season.
“Rising temperatures also lead to a later end in allergy season. And this is the time of year we really see the pollen count go up. And in the southeast this time of year, it has been wet, which leads to more plant growth,” said Dr. Foggs.
Experts recommend for those suffering to see an allergist now, before the season gets worse.
For patients like Kimone Duncan, it’s about changing her everyday routine.
“I try to stay inside as much as possible. I go to work, and I come back home,” said Duncan – bracing for an allergy season- before symptoms strike.