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Allergies Could Hit Hard This Fall Season

Update Date: Sep 18, 2013 03:10 PM EDT

The start of the fall season can be great news for people with spring allergies. Typically around this time, allergies have calmed down. However, what people often forget is that fall comes with a whole new set of allergens. On top of that, this fall allergy season is projected to be one of the worst ones in years.

Seasonal allergies afflict around 40 million people living in the United States based on statistics provided from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The AAFA announced that people who suffer from seasonal allergies might have to prepare themselves for the fall. Due to climate changes that affect pollen levels and cause a redistribution of allergens, the ragweed season might last a month or two longer than usual.

"The East Coast has had a much more severe problem with ragweed this year than probably the last decade," the founder of the Institute for Asthma and Allergy in Chevy Chase, MD, Dr. Michael A. Kaliner said.

Unfortunately, ragweed will not be only culprit. The AAFA believes that pollen from weeds will also be a huge issue this fall for people with allergies. To help people get an idea of this year's fall allergy season, the agency has released a list of the cities where allergies are projected to be the worst. This list, the 2013 Fall Allergy Capitals Report, ranked cities based on their pollen levels. The report also takes into account allergy medication used by the cities' residents, the number of board-certified allergists per patient in a specific area and the amount of people in each city with allergies to pollen.

The report placed Wichita, KS as the American allergy capital for this year. In the number two spot was Jackson, MI. The remaining three cities in the top five are Knoxville, TN, Louisville, KY, and Memphis, TN. The AAFA hopes that this list could help people seek medical care. During the fall season, a lot of people mistake their symptoms for a cold or the flu and do not get proper treatment. The AAFA reminds people to be more aware of their own conditions, whether it is really a cold or allergies.

The full list can be found here.

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