Southeast Worst Place for Allergy Sufferers

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Spring is a beautiful time of year for much of the U.S, but it brings trouble too - for millions of allergy sufferers. And anyone in the Southeast may already be feeling the pain.

"The southeast, as beautiful as it is, it's a haven for those pollinating trees this time of year," said Angel Waldron, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. "From March to May we're exposed to pollen from these trees that can trigger our symptoms."

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released its annual report listing the worst allergy cities and zeroed in on the Southeast once again.

Jackson, Miss., came out on top followed by a double whamee for Tennessee - Knoxville and Chattanooga. McAllen, Texas, and Louisville, Kent., round out the top five.

Some allergy experts say climate change is causing earlier, longer, more intense allergy seasons.

"When you look at the broad spectrum of the weather, the winters are generally milder than they have been in years past," Waldron said.

Extreme weather events may further complicate seasonal allergies especially for the Northeast this year.

"We had a surge of mold pollen due to superstorms, due to flooding."

There is no cure for allergies.

"An allergist can do allergy testing if need be to determine where the source of your misery is, and then once you know that, avoidance or minimizing exposure is the treatment of choice," said allergist Dr. B. Steele Rolston.

The report was funded by a new nasal spray. It looked at pollen counts, use of allergy medications and the number of allergists in U.S. cities.

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