Richmond ranks among worst places for allergies

Richmond ranks among worst places for allergies

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The pollen count in Richmond is spiking.

Last year, Richmond ranked in the top 15 "most challenging places to live with spring allergies." The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranked American cities based on pollen score, allergy medication usages, and availability of Board-certified allergists.

Richmond ranked 14th in 2016, with an overall score of "worse than average" when it comes to those three factors. This year could be just as bad, if not worse.

Dr. William Hark with Richmond Allergy & Asthma Specialists notes it is not the blooming flowers that cause the biggest problem, but trees which produce the most pollen.

"You have a lot of southern and northern plants. But what I think is really bad is when the pollen count decreases in Richmond, it blows in from the mountains so it extends the pollen season," Dr. Hark explained.

That season kicked off before mid-February this year and will extend into the fall.

"You can also have wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, you're tired, you're lethargic. All those can be triggered by allergies," he warned.

He recommends using medication before the season, and your allergies, gets worse.

"Once you start having symptoms, it doesn't take much to keep them going. Like a car rolling down the hill, keeps getting faster and faster," said Dr. Hark.

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