OKLAHOMA CITY - If your allergies are getting the best of you, there's a reason why. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) just ranked Oklahoma City as the fourth worst city for spring allergies.

The Foundation, based in Landover, Md., released its annual Spring Allergy Capitals report on March 31. Rankings are based on pollen levels, use of over the counter and prescription allergy medication and the number of Board Certified allergists in each city.

Tulsa was listed as 19th up from 21st place. Oklahoma City ranked ninth last year.

High winds from extreme weather patterns cause pollen distribution leading to an increase in allergy symptoms. Oklahoma City's dry weather has been stuck on high cedar pollen counts for weeks including two allergy alert days.

Follow these simple steps to limit exposure to pollens and molds causing symptoms:

• Keep windows closed at night, and if possible use air conditioning which cleans, cools and dries the air.

• Try to stay indoors when the pollen and mold counts are high. If your symptoms are severe, wear a pollen mask if long periods of exposure are unavoidable. When you return indoors, take a shower, shampoo your hair and change your clothes.

• Avoid mowing or raking leaves which stirs up pollen and molds. Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry.

• Keep your windows closed when traveling by car.

If seasonal symptoms are causing you to be miserable, an allergist can help. For more information, check the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic's website here.