SLIDESHOW: Chattanooga ranks among 10 worst allergy cities - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

SLIDESHOW: Chattanooga ranks among 10 worst allergy cities

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CHATTANOOGA -

(WRCB) -- On the heels of the fourth warmest winter in U.S. history, Chattanooga was named one of the top 10 allergy cities.

The Weather Channel teamed with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation to come up with the list.

Knoxville, McAllen, Texas, and Louisville, Kentucky, round out the top three.

Chattanooga came in seventh, with Memphis right behind.

Spring has sprung, and Chattanoogans on the NorthShore say it's anything but a walk in the park.

"I just washed my car," Grace Neff says. "It was covered in yellow ick."

"I don't even have allergies," Karena Kreger says. "But as we were driving up, I immediately got pressure in my sinuses, and my eyes are itchy."

Pollen counts are through the roof, some of the worst in the country.

A mild winter and the early arrival of warmer temperatures mean trees are blooming ahead of schedule, causing issues for allergy sufferers.

"Yesterday (Monday) was over 2000, today it's 1400, it's been crazy," Allergist, Dr. Todd Levine says. "We're getting this yellow dust all over the place."

The Chattanooga Allergy Clinic has extended its hours to fit in patients.

"Our phones are ringing off the hook," Dr. Levine says. "People are just miserable."

Dr. Levine is seeing patients with itchy and watery eyes, runny noses, congestion, and wheezing.

He says over-the-counter medicines can help, but allergy shots can cure an allergy by re-training your immune system.

If you'd rather treat your symptoms at home, there are things you can do.

Dr. Levine suggests rolling your windows up at home, or in the car.

And, if you're outside for long periods of time, hit the showers.

"Take a shower, wash your hair, so it's not in your hair, so it doesn't get in your bed when you go to sleep," Dr. Levine says.

This time of year it's hard to tell if you're coming down with a cold, or suffering from allergies.

Dr. Levine suggests seeing a doctor to know for sure, before reaching for over the counter medicine.

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