We know what you're thinking: Spring allergies? What spring?!
We feel you: It's the winter that just won't end, despite what the groundhog said. But when it comes to sniffling, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes, we think it's better to be prepared, especially since some experts suggest allergies are only getting worse. Climate change has increased pollen counts, which could double by the year 2040, according to one study.
To help you prepare, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has once again compiled a list of the most challenging places to live for people with allergies. Despite the persisting cooler temps, the AAFA predicts a longer, strong spring allergy season, partially due to more extreme weather conditions.
To calculate the rankings, the AAFA tallied pollen scores, allergy medication usage per patient and the number of allergy docs in the area, then assigned every metropolitan area a score out of a total of 100 points. There have been some subtle shifts since last year, but there's only one city new to the top 10 worst offenders list this year.
Searching for relief? Experts recommend some simple coping tips for allergies, like leaving shoes and jackets outside, keeping the windows closed, washing your hair before bed and staying indoors when pollen counts are at their highest.
In the slideshow below, you'll find the 10 worst U.S. cities for spring allergies. Click over to the AAFA site for an interactive map of the full list.
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