Charleston ranked 26th-worst for fall allergies

Published: Sep. 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - While Charleston is certainly a scenic, beautiful place to live, it can be tough on the allergies this time of year.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks Charleston as the 26th-most-challenging city to live in with allergies this fall.  The report is based on pollen levels, use of allergy medications per patient, and the number of allergists per patient.

Last year, Charleston ranked 42nd on the list.

"Fall can be a challenging season for people with seasonal allergies, particularly in Charleston," said Jeffrey J. Dietrich, MD, Charleston Allergy and Asthma Consultants. "It's important for allergy sufferers to know that they don't need to suffer in silence. They should learn more about allergies and visit an allergy specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment."

The AAFA predicts this fall could be the perfect storm for allergy sufferers as global warming conditions boost ragweed levels and fall storms disperse allergens and outdoor mold.

Allergic reactions to pollen and outdoor mold are often confused with a cold or the flu, particularly in the fall. This misdiagnosis can prevent patients from getting the correct treatment and lead to other medical problems.

"AAFA encourages the approximately 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies to learn more and consult an allergy specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of seasonal allergy symptoms," said Mike Tringale, Vice-President of External Affairs at AAFA.

There is no cure for allergies. Nearly half of seasonal allergy patients are unhappy with how slowly their prescription medicines work and many patients still experience breakthrough of severe symptoms despite using a seasonal allergy medication.

The best way for people to manage seasonal allergies is to avoid allergy triggers like pollen and outdoor mold, get properly diagnosed, and use effective medications to treat symptoms.