April 8, 2016

Louisville Makes You Sniffle, Sneeze and Cry Every Spring

Every year, The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America puts out its list the “Worst Cities in the United States for Spring Allergies”, and Louisville is always vying for top ranking. In 2014, it won out, out ranking other U.S. cities for springtime allergens. This year, Louisville is #2, but still presents a strong challenge for anyone with allergies. january_sunset_over_louisville_014

The bad news is that the spring allergy season persists between February and June.

Allergic symptoms in the spring are caused by a significant increase in the tree and grass pollen, pollen-handssaid Dr. Wesley Burks, professor and chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Duke University Medical Center. Other environmental conditions, such as pollution can then exacerbate the person’s symptoms.The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America used a ranking system that took into account three factors to grade the top 100 worst allergy cities — tree pollen prevalence, the number of allergy medications used by residents in the area and the number of allergy specialists in the area (1). allergy
Spring allergies are a fact of life for residents of the Ohio River Valley.
Gerald Lee, an allergist at the University of Louisville says, in the basin of the river, we have the perfect temperature and precipitation to allow pollen growth, along with other trees grasses and weeds (2) …Pretty much people marinate in pollen most of the sunny days in this city… The immune system is constantly activated. There is so much inflammation; we are swimming in histamine. There is an immediate effect of wheezing, itching, swelling and mucus production. Progressive swelling and congestion over time continues over days and days and days (3).  pear trees

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from allergies and allergy is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. for people of all ages.

Typically, those who suffer with seasonal allergies turn to both over-the-counter and prescription medications, but may opt for alternative treatments when relief is not significant enough. Acupuncture is one option that many find helpful. It is often used to complement other treatment with good results. For example, a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined 422 people with pollen allergies. After two months, those who used medication along with acupuncture reported fewer symptoms and less medication use (4).

jeff capIf you would like to explore the use of Chinese Medicine to manage your seasonal allergies, you can call Jeffrey Russell at his clinic, Abacus Chinese Medicine in Louisville. He is a practitioner of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism, both very effective treatments for these conditions. 502.299-8900. You can also learn more about the use of Chinese Medicine in the treatment of allergies here.



  1. https://www.wdrb.com/story/25123999/louisville-named-worst-city-for-allergies

  2. https://www.kyaai.com/uncategorized/why-is-louisville-ky-the-allergy-capital-of-the-united-states/#sthash.qkfydujO.dpufDr.

  3. https://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/wellness/2014/04/10/louisville-ranks-first-spring-allergies/7549925/

  4. Brinkhaus, Ortiz, Witt, Roll, Linde, Pfab, et.al. Acupuncture in Patients With Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(4):225-23434.