The 12th annual "Spring Allergy Capitals" report was released today by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). For the third time in the report's history, Louisville, Kentucky was ranked number one (up from fifth place last year).

I've heard from multiple people in the 15 years that I've lived in Asheville that we have the worst in the country. I'm guessing everyone that suffers from the pollen onslaught feels that way.

So, how bad is the Spring pollen here? And how is it determined?

According to the AAFA:

The factors that go into the rankings are the area's pollen score, allergy medicine utilization and the number of board-certified allergists. The pollen score, which is provided to AAFA by IMS Health, reflects recorded pollen/mold spore levels, the predicted prevalence for certain types of pollens/molds over the most recent spring season and the duration of the peak season for the most allergenic pollen types.

It also considers the percentage of people in the area who are affected by those pollens. The medicine utilization score considers the sale of prescription, over-the-counter and behind-the-counter allergy medication sales per patient during the most recent spring season.

The last factor calculates the number of board-certified allergy and immunology specialists per every 10,000 patients. Weights are applied to each factor and a composite final score is calculated for each metropolitan area.