Destination Misery

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 2:21pm

New survey names worst cities for allergy sufferers.

An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from allergies, making it one of the most common chronic diseases.

A new poll suggests where you live determines how you spend your spring: Sneezing or smiling.

Dr. David Hagaman is an allergist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, one of the hot spots for spring sneezing according to the new poll from the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.

The poll found many southern cities are the most challenging places to live with spring allergies, with Knoxville, Tennessee being the worst.

Still, miserable patients could be found all over the country.

The poll was based on pollen scores, the number of allergy medications used per patient and the number of allergists in each city.

Dr. Hagaman, who has done research for pharmaceutical companies, says you can significantly reduce your symptoms if you start taking medication before the pollen count spikes.

"These medicines are great at preventing swelling, not so good at taking it away once it hits," he advises.

There are also herbal supplements like quercetin and stinging nettle that have been shown to provide relief.

A saline nasal rinse can wash out the pollen you've been breathing in all day.

May take some trial and error to find out what works for you, but it's worth it.

Spring allergies can last until June.

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