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Akron ranks 32nd nationwide when it comes to battling spring allergies, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) says.

The organization this week released its list of the Most Challenging Places to Live With Spring Allergies. The group ranked the 100 largest cities in the United States based on pollen score, use of medicine by patients, and the number of board-certified allergists per patient.

Akron’s rank was considered average and better than its ranking of 25 two years ago.

“Our Spring Allergy Capitals report is a valuable tool to help identify cities where seasonal allergy symptoms can create challenges,” AAFA President and CEO Kenneth Mendez said in a prepared statement. “This report helps people in these areas be more aware of what may contribute to their allergy symptoms so they can work with their health care providers to get relief. With the right treatment plan, seasonal allergies can be managed for better quality of life.”

The top five communities were, in order: McAllen, Texas; Louisville, Ky.; Jackson, Miss.; Memphis, Tenn.; and San Antonio, Texas.

Dayton was seventh, No. 1 in the Midwest. Meanwhile, Toledo was 14th, Youngstown was 18th, Columbus was 28th, Cleveland was 39th and Cincinnati was 63rd.

More than 50 million Americans deal with seasonal nasal allergies, the group said. Read the full report at www.aafa.org/media/AAFA-2018-Spring-Allergy-Capitals-Report.pdf

Pollen reactions

The AAFA recommends that pollen allergy sufferers monitor pollen counts in their area to reduce reactions and symptoms, When pollen is high, the AAFA offers these steps:

• Limit outdoor activities

• Keep windows closed

• Use central air conditioning with air filtration

• Wear sunglasses outdoors

• Wear a hat to cover hair

• Take a shower and shampoo hair before going to bed to remove pollen from hair and skin

• Change and wash clothes worn during outdoor activities

• Dry laundry in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line

• Limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors

• Remove shoes before entering home

• Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week

• Use a nasal rinse to flush out pollens

• Use a certified asthma and allergy friendly air cleaner

For mold allergies

Mold allergy sufferers may experience symptoms year-round. The AAFA provides some steps to take to reduce exposure to outdoor molds:

• Limit outdoor activities

• Wear a mask and sunglasses/goggles when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials.