Top Spot In National Allergy List

Wednesday, April 4th 2007, 7:40 pm

By: News On 6

Tulsa ranks #1 in the nation in a new list just released, but it probably won't be put in pamphlets or on the Tulsa Area Chamber of Commerce website. This top ranking has to do with sniffling, sneezing, sore throats and more. For many folks, it was nice to see an early return of spring, but News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports for Kevin Sapp, it meant an earlier start to his allergy angst.

"I have seasonal allergies, but this year is a lot worse than it has been," said Sapp.

Sapp isn't alone. The Eastern Oklahoma Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic has seen a big jump in patients hoping for some respiratory relief.

"In the last six to eight weeks, you could say there have been additional hundreds,” said Dr. Rollie Rhodes of Eastern Oklahoma Ear, Nose and Throat.

It turns out; Tulsa is the worst city in the nation for allergies. The non-profit Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranked the 100 worst cities for spring allergies, and Tulsa was #1. It comes as no surprise to Rhodes. He says tree pollen has been really bad since mid February.

"Pecan trees, maple, elm, oak, cedar trees, most any tree you can think of that we have around here," said Rhodes.

To make matters worse, the pollen and allergy season may last well into late May.

"If you know you have allergies, at the first sign of the symptoms increasing, you want to aggressively get back on your medications," said Rhodes.

That's what Kevin Sapp is doing. He'll get a shot, which is a small price to pay for a little relief.

"Waking up in the middle of the night sneezing, coughing, hacking, constantly blowing my nose, it's never ending," said Sapp.

Dallas-Fort Worth ranked number two on the list. Oklahoma City ranks as the 15th worst city in the nation for allergies.

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