Louisville ranks among worst in nation for allergy problems - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville ranks among worst in nation for allergy problems

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Dr. Jim Sublett Dr. Jim Sublett
Katie Vankanel Katie Vankanel

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When it comes to constant sneezing, itchy throats, and runny eyes and noses, allergies reign supreme in Louisville.

Many residents have described Louisville as one of the worst places for allergies for years. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American now agrees.

In its annual list of the 100 worst American cities to live in with allergies in the fall, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranked Louisville fourth worst on the list released Wednesday.

"We were number one last year," said Dr. Jim Sublett of Family Allergy & Asthma. "This ranking they do each year just kind of gives you an idea of what's going on nationally. This has been a bad year throughout the country, especially throughout the Midwest and on the east coast with the allergies."

Louisville trailed only Knoxville, Tennessee at No. 3, Jackson, Mississippi at No. 2, and Wichita, Kansas at No. 1. For the complete list of 100 worst cities for allergies, click here.

"They look at how many days you've had a very high pollen count and the medication usage and how many allergists are in the community," said Dr. Sublett. "Here in Louisville we have a number of board certified allergists which actually moves us down a little bit compared to some communities that may have less."

Dr. Sublett said allergies are highly common in Louisville due to the area's long growing season and sunken geography.

"We're in a bowl so we have this inversion factor. The same reason we have problems during certain times of the year with pollution, we also trap a lot of things at ground level, so the pollen and the mold spores get trapped."

According to Dr. Sublett, two-thirds of people experience year round allergies while others suffer from seasonal allergies five to six months out of the year.

The following tips have been suggested for allergy-sufferers:

  • Use air conditioning during the spring and fall, keep your home closed
  • Refrain from leaving windows cracked to avoid letting pollen and dust in
  • Use high efficiency furnace filters on furnace units
  • Use vacuums with HEPA or canister filters but empty them outside
  • Shower and wash hair after returning from outdoors to avoid transferring outdoor pollen to furniture
  • Wear a high efficiency filter mask during outdoor yard work or gardening
  • Wash pillow cases and sheets weekly to avoid dust build up

"Make sure you're washing your sheets every week," suggested Katie Vankanel, a patient of Family Allergy & Asthma. "The pillows, pillow case covers are really good."

For additional suggestions on dealing with allergies, click here.

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