MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When August comes around, Cortez Jones says his allergies get him “discombobulated.” Watery eyes, runny nose. It’s part of almost every Minnesota August.
The ragweed is in full bloom, pollen is flying through the air.
“My allergies are worse than 5 other states I’ve been in,” wrote Kat Melgaard.
Are allergies worse in Minnesota than in other states? Dr. Julia Montejo, an allergy specialist with Fairview’s Andover Clinic, gives this perspective.
“I’ve lived in West Virginia, Kansas City. They all have allergies, and they all think theirs are the worst,” said Montejo, with a laugh. “One plant of ragweed can release a billion grains of pollen, which can go 400 miles away. So there’s not an easy to get away from ragweed.”
Still, Quest Diagnostics runs millions of blood tests for allergies every year. They analyzed the results by city, and ranked Minneapolis/St. Paul number ten in sensitivity to ragweed.
Phoenix was number one, followed by Las Vegas and Kansas City.
According to Montejo, the problem with that sort of ranking is that it only ranks the sensitivity of people who got blood tests, instead of looking at the entire population.
“We think the increase in carbon dioxide levels in cities, more motor vehicles, may increase the growing season for ragweed. There may be more ragweed in the cities,” said Montejo.
On Facebook, Karla Milner wrote: “I went to Aruba on vacation and had NO issues at all.”
“You may have slightly different species of molds and weeds, for whatever reason people might not react as strong as they do in their hometown,” said Montejo. “I don’t know much about Hawaii but I’d be thrilled to go there and report for you.”