The Washington Post: “Allergy Season, by the Numbers”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease among American adults. They cause some 4 million missed and lost workdays each year. And kids fare even worse: Allergies — including food and seasonal — are the leading chronic condition among children in the U.S., according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

All told, Americans spend approximately $300 million each year on doctor’s visits due to allergies — and the allergy drug trade is growing so fast, research firm Global Industry Analysts projects it to become a $14.7 billion market by 2015.

The hot new medication could soon be Oralair, the first pill — as opposed to a shot — containing allergen extract to receive FDA approval. (A competitor, Merck’s Grastek, could also appear on the shelves in the near future. It’s already approved for sale in Canada.)

In the meantime, allergy sufferers may want to check out the list of nationwide “Spring Allergy Capitals” compiled by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America — and steer clear of the Southeast. Seven of the top 10 “capitals” are located in the region, with Louisville, Ky., taking the crown as the “most challenging” city for allergy sufferers. It’s the third time Derby City has topped the list — which only stands to reason in the Bluegrass State.

More on allergy season: 

To Your Health: 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

Allergy alert: A tidal wave of pent-up pollen could be headed our way

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