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Cities Win Dubious Prize: Most Stuffy Noses

If mold, dust and other culprits are shutting down your nasal passages, you might find it useful to know which U.S. cities' residents have it even worse. It turns out that people living in Oklahoma City, Okla., suffer the most nasal congestion of any metropolitan area in America.

That's according to a new study conducted by (of course) Breathe Right Nasal Strips and Sperling's BestPlaces, which found that in Birmingham, Ala., New Orleans, La., and Louisville, Ky., you're likely to hear a sniffling sound for much of the year. The study's authors say that over all, 20 percent of Americans suffer from chronic nighttime nasal congestion.

"For many people who are congested, the right to breathe naturally and freely is taken away, and a good night's sleep suffers as a result," said clinical psychologist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., in a news release announcing the study's results. "Chronic nighttime nasal congestion and its impact on sleep is severely misunderstood."

At NPR, we've been on this story for a while now — including our colleague Allison Aubrey's 2007 report on the practice of using neti-pots to flush out one's nose.

The congestion news release identifies Breus as a "diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine" — and I admit, the use of the semi-archaic diplomate made this study stand out.

For the study, researchers looked at these common indicators of nasal congestion: "tree, grass and weed pollens, molds and spores, air pollution, climate, smoking, purchase habits of congestion products, prescriptions of drugs for congestion relief and incidence of the Influenza (flu)."

Many of the cities that made the Top 20 are in the Southeast and Midwest; none are on the West Coast.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Verdine White On 45 Years With Earth, Wind & Fire

Forty-five years ago, the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” introduced audiences to a new kind of funk--one that fused soul, jazz, Latin and pop. Bassist Verdine White talks to guest host Derek McGinty about breaking racial boundaries in music and how the band is still evolving.

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If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation

"Nobody can soldier without coffee," a Union cavalryman wrote in 1865. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
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What's Ahead At The Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia, where Hillary Clinton will accept the presidential nomination.

NPR

What Verizon Will Get When It Buys Yahoo

Verizon is expected to announce a deal to buy Yahoo's Internet business on Monday. The telecom giant is eyeing Yahoo's content — and more opportunities to sell ads on it.

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