Fall is a transitional season. It is the period after a warm summer just before a cooler winter. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that around one in ten Americans suffers from seasonal allergies. During this period, more plants flower and produce fruit. The pollen levels in the air are higher than average. Deciduous trees also shed their leaves and enter into a semi-dormant state in readiness for the cold winter weather.
People experience an increase in allergic reactions in the fall due to various reasons. Some plants such as ragweed flower in summer and continue producing pollen in fall. A lot of people are allergic to ragweed pollen. The pollen quickly travels long distances in the wind. This is accelerated by changes in the atmospheric temperature.
Other allergy triggers in fall include mold and dust mites. Mold quickly grows in dark wet areas. Falling leaves form a ground cover that is conducive to their growth. Dust mites thrive in the summer and may linger on into fall.
Some cities in the US present more challenges to those at risk of developing allergic reactions. Extra caution needs to be taken by residents as well as visitors to these cities. Some of these cities include Jackson in Mississippi, Memphis and Knoxville in Tennessee, McAllen and Dallas in Texas, Louisville in Kentucky, and Syracuse and Buffalo in New York. Additionally, Oklahoma City, as well as Dayton and Toledo in Ohio, are also known allergy capitals.
There is increased humidity in the summer in the Jackson region. The area is also experiencing increased rainfall at that time. This creates the perfect atmosphere for triggers such as pollen and mold to flourish. Knoxville sits on a mountainous range. This leads to an increase of triggers in the valley regions.
Similarly, Louisville sits on a plain valley surrounded by hills. More triggers and pollutants settle on low-lying areas and valley bottoms. Memphis enjoys high levels of humidity from the surrounding rivers. It also experiences a high proliferation of ragweed.
Rankings Increase Awareness
The city rankings are based on the amount of pollen in the air. This comes from flowering trees, shrubs, grasses, weeds and mold spores. The ranking also factors in allergy medications and specialists in a given area.
The primary trigger contributing to the increased risk of exposure to allergens in most of these cities is ragweed. The wild plant thrives in rural as well as urban areas. It is an aggressive plant and can grow on sidewalks and rooftops. Extreme weather conditions and climate change have also contributed to the increase in triggers. Warmer temperatures enable more pollen production. It also leads to stronger winds which carry the pollen over longer distances.
It is important for residents and visitors to recognize the increased risks in these cities. This enables them to take steps to minimize exposure. It also empowers them to maintain their readiness with the proper medications. Shower and wash your clothes more often. Keep all openings closed and use a dehumidifier in regions with a high moisture content in the air. Improve the quality of indoor air and ensure adequate ventilation.