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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/.

NPR

Writer James Alan McPherson, Winner Of Pulitzer, MacArthur And Guggenheim, Dies At 72

McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has died at 72. His work explored the intersection of white and black lives with deftness, subtlety and wry humor.
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Oyster Archaeology: Ancient Trash Holds Clues To Sustainable Harvesting

Modern-day oyster populations in the Chesapeake are dwindling, but a multi-millennia archaeological survey shows that wasn't always the case. Native Americans harvested the shellfish sustainably.

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Your Turn: Ronald Reagan's Shooter, Freddie Gray Verdicts And More

Have opinions about the Democratic National Convention, or the verdicts from the Freddie Gray cases? It's your turn to talk.

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Trump's Cyber Comments Rouse The Democrats

As they bolster their case that Hillary Clinton is ready to be commander in chief, Democrats are seizing on Donald Trump's comments seemingly encouraging Russia to use cyber-espionage against Clinton.

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