Did you know your allergies may be worse depending on your location?
The prevalence of allergies has significantly increased over the years. Adults are finding they have new allergies as they get older.
Scientists believe one of the reasons for this is the location where a person lives and climate changes. Moving from one area to another increases exposure to new pollen, trees, and other allergens. This may increase the risk of developing a new allergy.
Old allergies may also worsen when moving to another city if the air in the new location is more polluted. Furthermore, there are hotspots or places that are more challenging to live with allergies.
There are different allergies including hay fever, food allergies, insect sting, and drug allergies. The most closely associated allergies with location are hay fever and allergic rhinitis. Symptoms of these allergies show up depending on the allergens in different areas. Most of these allergens are airborne such as pollen and dust.
Hay fever is most often associated with seasonal allergies. Roughly 15% of children experience seasonal allergies. Common seasonal allergens include pollen from trees, weeds, and grass. Oftentimes, people experience hay fever allergies during the spring, summer, and fall.
Symptoms of hay fever allergies include:
- Itchy nose
- Watery eyes
There are also cases of perennial hay fever, which lasts throughout the year.
Hay fever allergens are often present in specific locations. In this article, we’ll explore the locations where allergies are common in the United States.
Best and Worst Locations for Allergies in 2021
The following information comes from an independent research project conducted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), 2021 Allergy Capitals.
The ten most challenging places to live with seasonal allergies:
- Scranton, Pennsylvania
- Richmond, Virginia
- Wichita, Kansas
- McAllen, Texas
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Springfield, Massachusetts
- New Haven, Connecticut,
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Bridgeport, Connecticut
The ten least challenging places to live with seasonal allergies are:
- Denver, Colorado
- Fresno, California
- Portland, Oregon
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Stockton, California
- San Jose, California
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Provo, Utah
- Seattle, Washington
- Durham, North Carolina
If you’re planning to move to one of the ten most challenging locations, consider your seasonal allergies.
Spring allergies last from early January to July. The most common allergens include pollens from alder, hickory, ash, mountain elder, aspen, mulberry, oak, birch, cedar, willow, and elm trees.
Fall allergies last from August to October. The most common allergen comes from weed pollen. These plants include burning bush, cocklebur, Russian thistle, lamb’s quarters, mugwort, and sagebrush.
Seasonal allergies largely depend on your location. If you suffer from severe seasonal allergies, you may want to consider relocating.
How to Manage Your Seasonal Allergies
You don’t have to sit around each spring and fall suffering from seasonal allergies. Even if you live in one of the most challenging locations in the US, there are some things you can do to avoid pollen.
Know the Patterns of Seasonal Allergies
Become familiar with seasonal allergy patterns and timelines. Spring allergies begin when trees release their pollen. Later in the spring, grass releases its pollen. Later in the summer and throughout the fall, weeds release their pollen.
The only time of year pollen is absent from the air is during the winter.
Check the Pollen Forecast in Your Location
If you’re planning outdoor activities, check the pollen forecast in your area. You can do this with the My Pollen Forecast app, which shares hay fever forecasts and has a diary to track symptoms. This allows you to check maps and see where the most pollen is present.
You can also use Plume Air Report for real-time data related to air quality. It offers a 24-hour forecast to help you plan outdoor activities ahead of time. You’ll also get customized recommendations for when to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities.
Reduce Indoor Allergens
Keep allergens out of your home. You can do this by keeping your windows closed and investing in an HVAC filter. Also, wash your bedding in hot water and soap at least once a week to get rid of allergens.
Wear Sunglasses and Change Your Clothes
When you go outside wear sunglasses to avoid contact with pollen. This will keep allergens out of your eyes.
Also, change your clothes and remove your shoes when you step into the house. Wipe off your pets if they’ve been rolling around in the grass.
These keep you from bringing allergens into your home and limit your exposure.
Keep Allergy Medication On Hand
If you start to feel symptoms of hay fever, make sure you have allergy medication available. Antihistamines and nasal corticosteroid sprays can help relieve symptoms.
Your doctor may also recommend immunotherapy shots or tablets for more long-term relief.
Use Home Remedies to Relieve Allergies
You may not want to constantly take allergy medication. Instead, you can use some home remedies to relieve your symptoms. Some of these include a Neti Pot with saline solution and air diffusers with essential oils.
Herbal teas can also help relieve allergy symptoms. Green tea, stinging nettle, butterbur, ginger and lemon, and turmeric prove to be effective. Before using an essential oil or tea, test it to ensure you aren’t allergic to it.
Living a healthy lifestyle will also help in the long term. Stay active, eat a healthy diet, avoid processed foods, and manage your stress. These are all factors in your allergy experience.
If you have seasonal allergies, you may be able to avoid them altogether if you move to another location. Seasonal allergies, often known as hay fever, become present when pollen is in the air.
These allergies occur mostly during the spring, summer, and fall. However, they may be worse in some places than others. Keep track of the pollen in your area with helpful apps and try to avoid it.
Even if you live in one of the worst places for seasonal allergies, there are ways to manage your symptoms.