Pollen is Everywhere

By Heather Legg

As I was sitting at my desk today I was looking at my window. The day was unusual for late March being cold and drizzly, but the flowers in my neighborhood are in full bloom and so beautiful, splashes of pink azaleas, orange tulips, white dogwoods….and then I saw the UPS truck and my jaw dropped. The top of the big box truck was no longer the familiar brown we relate to UPS, it was YELLOW! The pollen looked so thick it was like snow! I was so shocked though I’ve seen pollen for many years, that took my breath away!

And it has been raining here! That’s the kicker. Even after days of rain, when it dries, the pollen is back. The tennis courts are sprinkled with so much pollen there’s no question if the ball is out because you can see right where it landed. You can write on the cars like on a foggy window. My golden retriever has more of yellow tint and it is just everywhere!

This led me to look at the annual worst cities for pollen put out by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation to see where it is really bad this year. Here’s what I found…

The rankings are based on scientific analysis of 3 factors for the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. The data measured and compared each year includes:
• Pollen scores (airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores)*
• Number of allergy medications used per patient
• Number of allergy specialists per patient

In a study by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Knoxville, Tennessee was ranked the number one place for the worst spring allergies because of high pollen counts and high use of allergy medications (Knoxville was giving a whopping score of 100). Some runners ups are Lousiville, KY, Charlotte, NC, and Jackson MS. The only non Southern states were Michigan and Ohio. Guess what? My state wasn’t even in the top 10! I can’t imagine what it’s like in Knoxville right now!

Hopefully the season will be short lived and we can all manage our allergies through it. As the AAFA reminds us, you can’t run from your allergies, you never know what new allergen is lurking in the next city. You just have to manage it and get through it.

For more on the Allergy capitals:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/30/got-allergies-10-worst_n_842100.html?ir=Travel#s259217&title=Knoxville_Tennessee

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