AAFA ranks Knoxville as 16th worst city for allergies

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The newest Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks Knoxville as the 16th most challenging place in the country to live with allergies.

Other southeastern cities on the list include Chattanooga, Memphis and Louisville.

The rankings take into account three factors: pollen score from the previous spring, the amount of board certified allergists living in the region, and allergy medication usage.

But not everyone says the tests are valid. Allergist Dr. Bob Overholt wonders how Chattanooga and Knoxville could have such different rankings.

"There's lots of pollution in Chattanooga," said Overholt. "We don't have as much here, so that could make their symptoms worse, but as far as pollen goes, Chattanooga and Knoxville should be very similar."

Overholt said this week has been difficult on those with allergies because both trees and grasses have begun to pollinate at the same time.

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