Wichita named allergy capital of the U.S.

Excess pollen results in more allergy symptoms like nasal congestion, stuffiness, sneezing, and...
Excess pollen results in more allergy symptoms like nasal congestion, stuffiness, sneezing, and itchy eyes.(MGN)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 8:53 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A report released Wednesday from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says Wichita, Kansas is rated No. 1 among the most challenging cities to live in during allergy season. This isn’t new for most Wichitans. Last year, the Air Capital ranked second on the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s list.

12 News spoke with Ascension Via Christi Pediatrician Dr. Amy Seery about what she thinks caused the slight bump in Wichita’s ranking.

“So, there’s a meme that’s making it’s way around the internet, listing Wichita, Kansas as the worst place in the world to live in the United States. One, we have really bad grass and tree pollen. We also have very few allergists. It’s very hard to find one right now,” Dr. Seery said.

The ratings from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation were based on the use of over-the-counter medication and the number of allergy physicians in the area.

“In the last couple of years, I’ve been to the doctor a few times and they just said, you know, we have really great over-the-counter medications available now,” said Wichita allergy sufferer Kelly Longenecker. “I’ve settled on one that I take every night before I go to bed. It’s a 24-hour, and then I do a nasal spray in the morning and at night.”

As a primary care provider, Dr. Seery said there are other ways to take care of your allergies, beyond medication.

“Make sure you’re washing your hands really well, maybe scrubbing down your face, or even better, just take a whole shower and then getting something like a neti pot with an approved solution, not tap water in it, and again, kind of flushing you sinuses out,” she said.

Dr. Seery also recommends reaching out to your family doctor who can prescribe oral medications to help to alleviate allergies. There are also intranasal products that may not be popular, but if you stick with them, she said, you could see results that’ll help you breathe easier.