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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
If your car is covered with a yellowish dust, and you find yourself sneezing and coughing with swollen red eyes, you're not alone.
Pollen is a sure sign of the spring allergy season, and three Tennessee cities are listed among the worst in the nation for allergy sufferers.
"I find myself more susceptible to sinus infections and sneezing fits. I'm just hoping to get some relief today," said school teacher Andrea Pierce.
Pierce said she's been having severe asthma attacks, and the tree pollen is not helping.
"I've been waking up feeling like something is sitting on my chest - just not being able to catch a full breath, dizzy spells, a lot of pressure in my head and bad headaches," Pierce said. "Just feeling like I'm going to pass out, because I'm not getting that oxygen flow I need."
Dr. Csaba Rusznak, with the Allergy & Asthma Center in Murfreesboro, said the spring allergy season seems to be getting worse each year.
"The reason for that, like last year, spring came earlier than before," Rusznak said. "In fact, we had a really high pollen count at the end of January, which is almost unheard of."
The national Asthma and Allergy Foundation recently released its annual list of the Top 10 worst cities for allergies. Jackson, MS, ranked as the worst city for allergy suffers, and three Tennessee cities - Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis - all made the Top 10.
The foundation said everyone, regardless of state, can expect their allergies to be worse this spring because of unusually wet weather.
"Even the smallest amount of pollen in a sensitized individual can cause a problem," Rusznak said.
Rusznak has done extensive research in the United Kingdom on the link between allergies and air pollution and said just because Nashville didn't make the top 10 list, allergy sufferers here are not out of the woods.
"Air pollutants really make allergies worse and almost induce allergies," Rusznak said.
The good news is the spring allergy season should end soon, but that's little comfort for allergy suffers like Pierce, knowing the summer allergy season - in which pollen from grass is a problem - is just around the corner.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation also released autumn's worst cities for allergy sufferers. Knoxville and Memphis made that list as well.
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Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:37:11 GMT
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