Memphis moves up on the allergy capitals list - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphis moves up on the allergy capitals list

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

We are not number one yet. But, last year we were number eight in the nation. This year we are number two for the worst place in the United States for spring time allergies.

Louisville grabbed the top spot and Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City and Jackson, Mississippi rounded out the top five.

MORE: Memphis ranked second-worst for spring allergies

So, what is it that makes Memphis a leader in the sneezing, watery eyes and wheezing department?

It's the time of year we look forward to all winter long. We spend time outdoors on warm days with plenty of sunshine. But, something else comes along with the great weather. Allergies! It seems almost no one is immune.

Volunteers at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens say they sneeze, wheeze and have itchy eyes.

"I do and I've always had them. But, it seems like they are worse this year for some reason," says Kiersten Watkins.

You might think it's the flowers that cause grief when it comes to allergies. But, the reality is it's our friends, the trees.

Dale Skaggs says, "Trees, a lot of trees. The male flower on the oak trees hangs on branches. They hang down so they can be disbursed by the wind. And we breathe it in and it causes the allergies."

But, it's more than the mighty oak trees or the Bradford pear trees. It's also the fact that Memphis is a hot humid valley that is perfect for growing just about everything including mold.

 "It's mold," Dr. Levy says. "Mildew won't thrive unless you have a damp climate. So, dampness for temp is a set up for it. So, this is a petri dish for allergies. That is a good way to put it and we have a longer growing season."

But, just like everything, some seasons are better than others. So, how about this spring? Is it going to be a good one, or a bad one?

For allergies, Dr. Levy says, "It's very interesting you can tell what kind of season we're going to have early. Some seasons you get warm temps early. It's going to be a busy season. So, do you think it's going to be a busy season? It very well could be. It's still a guessing game. But, from what have seen in my practice, it's going to be busy."

Translation: Lots of people suffering from allergies. So good luck and just know that this too shall pass.  But, not without a lot of sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes.

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