DETROIT (WWJ) – A list released by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) rank Detroit and Grand Rapids among the 100 most challenging places to live with seasonal allergies.

The Fall Allergy Capitals Rankings is an annual research project and the rankings are based on a scientific analysis of three factors for the 100 largest metro areas in America.

The data measured and compared each year includes the Pollen scores (airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores), number of allergy medications used per patient and the number of allergy specialists per patient.

The report ranks Detroit as the 50th most challenging place to live with seasonal allergies, down last year from the 37th spot. The report ranked the pollen score in Detroit as better than average.

The report ranks Grand Rapids as the 37th most challenging places to live with seasonal allergies, up from their 2010 ranking at the 38th spot. Grand Rapids’ pollen score was rated as average.

The worst place to live with seasonal allergies is Knoxville, Tennessee, according to the report.

Nearly 40 million Americans have nasal allergies and over 10 million have allergic asthma. For these millions of adults and children allergic to pollen, the next few months will push them indoors to avoid wind-swept allergens and to ultimately escape the chronic symptoms of fall allergies: runny nose and congestion, itchy and watery eyes, violent sneezing, and even coughing and wheezing for people who have allergic asthma.

However, even average Americans are spending 60 percent or more of their time indoors and experts are increasingly cautioning everyone to pay attention to indoor air quality (IAQ), as well.

Indoor air can be worse than outdoor air. Household triggers like mold that grows in areas with high moisture, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in wood furniture, flooring and traditional paints, or strong chemical odors from some cleaning products are common problems.

AAFA encourages people to be aware of indoor air quality all year-long, regardless of the season and their city, by offering some simple tips for better indoor air quality:

  • Control dust mites – Wash bed linens at least once weekly, and make sure your washing machine hot water temperature can exceed 130 degrees to kill dust mites and their eggs. Plus, keep dogs and cats off of your beds – pet dander is a primary source of food for dust mites.
  • Healthy housekeeping – Vacuum at least once weekly and make sure you use a quality vacuum with good constant suction, tight seams with no leaks and a HEPA filter. Choose scent-free cleaning products and wear a face mask when dusting to reduce your exposure to airborne particles.
  • Filter it out – Look for portable room air filters for bedrooms and common areas, and make sure to replace your HVAC filter at least four times per year.

To view a complete listing of cities, click here.


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