Some people think asthma is black and white — you either have it or you don’t. But asthma symptoms can vary dramatically by external factors such as location and lifestyle, which can affect a patient’s need for inhalers, nebulizer machines, and other respiratory supplies.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 cities from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s (AAFA) “2010 Asthma Capitals” list:
10. Atlanta: The AAFA’s no. 1 worst city in 2007, Atlanta has improved over the last couple of years, but still suffers from poor air quality, loose legislation on smoking, and an insufficient number of doctors specializing in asthma.
9. Augusta, Ga.: A hotspot for allergy-inducing pollen, Augusta is all the worse for its widespread poverty, high death rates related to asthma, and inadequate smoking laws.
8. Philadelphia: Philly is actually ahead of the game when it comes to smoke-free legislation, but the city’s poverty rate and pollen score still landed it on this year’s top 10 list.
7. Tulsa, Okla.: Even though it’s dry, Tulsa has a surprisingly high pollen count, along with a high number of asthma patients and asthma-related deaths.
6. Memphis, Tenn.: If you have asthma in Memphis, you definitely need a nebulizer machine. This southern city has worse-than-average air quality and poverty rates, without many restrictions on public smoking.