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Medication restrictions hold back stuffed-up Memphians

5.22.16– Cary Sennett,  The Commercial Appeal

Since sunny days and warm temperatures have replaced chilly April rainstorms, spring has officially sprung. Flowers bloom, trees fill out and grass grows seemingly overnight.

The changing of the seasons means more time spent outside, summer vacations to come and, unfortunately for many, the onset of spring allergies.

At the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), we study seasonal allergies and rank the cities most affected by allergies in our annual “Spring Allergy Capitals” report.

Unfortunately, Tennessee consistently makes the top of the list. Each year, millions of people in Tennessee suffer the misery of spring allergies: congested sinuses, irritated, swollen and red eyes, and a constant stuffy nose. Seasonal allergies make life difficult for people across the country, but our study shows that Tennessee is one of the most difficult states in America. This year, four cities in Tennessee ranked among the top 30 worst — including Memphis, named second worst in America, behind only Jackson, Mississippi.

While there are limits to what can be done to reduce the causes of spring allergies, there is much that can be done to reduce the symptoms. Access to convenient, affordable and effective medication is an important part of that. So we need to speak out when we see potential threats to that access. We do, in Tennessee.

The treatment of allergic symptoms often involves the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that contain pseudoephedrine (PSE). Because PSE can be used to make illegal methamphetamine, many states have passed laws that restrict access to PSE.

Read more here.