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Seasonal Allergy Hell – Not Your Imagination

Have seasonal allergies affected you this year? I was looking at the latest videos posted regarding allergies and found a recording of Robin Roberts from Good Morning America talking about what appear to be pollen allergy statistics for 2006. Though the data is dated it got me thinking about how the last few years have been particularly hard on me and my kids for spring allergies.

We live in the Boston area and in the video it talks about the worst and best cities. Boston was the worst that year. I found a new report for 2008 for the Worst Cities For Allergies provided by Forbes. Boston is down to 59 out of 100 but I found their measurement method interesting. They factor 3 things:

  • a pollen score
  • a medicine utilization score
  • a score based on number of Board Certified Allergists per Patient

Boston scores above average for number of allergists per patient. In the older video it talks about warmer winters being the culprit and we indeed have experienced those in the NorthEast.

I find the Forbes list interesting but as with any study potentially flawed. Though Boston has dropped in standings many seasonal allergy sufferers are treating themselves nowadays with over the counter medicines like Claritin and Zyrtec. Pharmacies even offer cheaper versions with similar ingredients that I have tried and worked for me. Our higher allergist ratio also suggests to me that patients may have identified their allergies with their allergists in years past and are now educated enough to help manage them.

Whether you believe in Global Warming or not it is not hard to see the changes in our weather patterns will continue to affect seasonal allergy sufferers. As the allergists in the older video mention visiting your allergist to pinpoint your exact allergies can help, especially if the over the counter allergy medicines don’t work for you. Also be sure not to confuse cold medicine with allergy medicine. Allergy medicines contain antihistamines which cold medicines do not.

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