RICHMOND, VA—Richmond ranks as one of the worst cities for allergy sufferers, and doctors say this year's allergy season is expected to be bad.
The capital city ranked eighth on the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's list of the worst city for allergy sufferers in the 2011 spring season.
Richmond ranked 71st on the organization's list of Most Challenging Places to Live with Fall Allergies in 2012.
Richmond allergist Dr. William Hark says the spring snap of pollen will be vengeful.
"its been pretty cold so that had kept everything locked up so then when it turns warm its all going to explode at once."
Dr. Hark recommends saline washes after being exposed to lots of pollen, or if you're suffering from severe congestion.
"I think the nasal sprays work better for nasal congestion the pills are effective for sneezing watery eyes runny nose."
Stay away from nasal decongestants with he ingredient oxymetazoline, warns Dr. Hark.
"You have to be careful because you get this immediate relief but the you have to keep using it over and over again and I have seen people become totally additive to this."
What about expensive remedies like indoor air filters and air purifiers? They don't really work, says Dr. Hark, unless you have a pet.
"They work well for tiny allergens like dogs and cats they don't work as well for pollen and mold."
For those who suffer from chronic allergies, Dr. Hark recommends starting on a prescription nasal steroid now, before the season starts.
For more information about allergies and how to treat them, visit:
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