- The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America identified the cities.
- About 25% of US adults have a seasonal allergy.
If you suffer from pollen-related sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes, you’re one of millions in the United States struggling with seasonal allergies.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 25% of US adults have a seasonal allergy. And where you live could impact how severe your symptoms can be this season.
A new report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) identifies cities where people suffer the most from spring and fall allergies. Using data from the country’s 100 most densely populated metropolitan areas, the researchers were able to rank the best and worst places to live based on pollen count, use of over-the-counter allergy medication, and number of board-certified allergists. The reason for this is that it is not only about where you are likely to suffer from allergies, but also where you can get the right care.
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“Due to climate change, we are experiencing longer and more intense allergy seasons. In people with asthma, allergies can trigger an asthma attack,” said Kenneth Mendez, AAFA chief executive officer and president. “Around 3,600 people die from asthma each year, so it’s important to address and treat asthma and allergy triggers where you live.”
The metro areas that AAFA ranks as the most challenging for allergy sufferers have all three factors in common: they have higher-than-average pollen levels in spring and fall, they take higher-than-average allergy medications, and there is less catering than the average metropolitan-certified allergist.
Here are the 10 worst places to live in the US if you suffer from seasonal allergies:
10. Greenville, SC
Greenville has below average scores for allergy medication use and average pollen counts and number of allergy specialists.
9. DesMoines, Iowa
Keep pollen levels low in your home by washing your bedding weekly in hot water and drying clothes indoors.
If you spend time outdoors, cover your hair, remove your shoes before going indoors, and shower before bed to keep pollen at bay.
7. Cape Coral, Fla
Pets can carry pollen into your home. Wipe down animals before they enter the home, bathe them regularly and keep them out of the bedroom if pollen is a problem.
6. Sarasota, Fla
Air filters and purifiers can help remove pollen from indoor air. Closed windows also help.
5. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Nasal rinses help remove pollen from the nose. Nasal sprays help reduce swelling and itching in the nose.
4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Immunotherapy, like allergy shots, can make you less sensitive to pollen. It’s a long-term treatment that can help prevent allergic reactions.
3. Scranton, Pennsylvania
Pollen allergies can make your mouth itchy when you eat certain fruits or vegetables. It’s called pollen-food allergy syndrome and occurs when your immune system can’t differentiate between some pollen and certain foods.
2. Dallas, Texas
Talk to your doctor about treatment options. It’s a good idea to start allergy treatments before the pollen season begins.
Wichita, Kansas scored lower than average in all three categories: pollen count, medication use, and number of allergists.
Current allergen values for your region can be found in our Allergy Tracker.
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