Best and Worst Cities to Live in for Allergies
There’s no part of the United States that’s entirely allergen free. But there are places where you might not suffer quite as much. Look at the current allergy landscape to get a sense of the best and worst places to live for allergy sufferers.1
US Cities and Allergies
As the climate changes and different cities address pollen and air pollution issues differently, the top best and worst cities for allergy sufferers evolves. Let’s look at the top best and worst cities for people with allergies as of 2023. These lists come from The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s Allergy Capital Report. The report factors in tree, grass and weed pollen scores along with over-the-counter allergy medicine use and availability of board-certified allergists and immunologists.2
Best US Cities to Live in for Allergies
On average, these ten cities mostly have a lower count so there’s a lower chance for allergies to set in. They are home to an average or higher-than-average amount of allergists and immunologists to assist people with allergic rhinitis, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Finally, they have a lower number of people who take allergy medicine, supporting the case that fewer people suffer from allergies in these cities.
- Buffalo, NY
- Seattle, WA
- Cleveland, OH
- Austin, TX
- Akron, OH
- Washington DC
- Detroit, MI
- Albuquerque, NM
- Columbus, OH
- Salt Lake City, UT
Worst Cities in US to Live in for Allergies
In contrast to the first list, these ten cities are not well suited for people with allergies. They have an average or higher-than-average pollen count from trees, grass and weeds. They are home to average or fewer-than-average board-certified allergists and immunologists to assist people suffering from respiratory issues like allergic rhinitis and asthma. Finally, as a tell-tale sign, these cities mostly have a higher-than-average number of people who take allergy medicine, suggesting the people who live in these cities have a higher likelihood of facing allergies.
- Wichita, KS
- Dallas, TX
- Scranton, PA
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Tulsa, OK
- Sarasota, FL
- Cape Coral, FL
- Orlando, FL
- Des Moines, IA
- Greenville, SC
How Climate Change is Actively Affecting Allergies in the United States
Different types of allergies affect over 100 million Americans each year—and that number grows. Climate change snowballed into a public health emergency for a myriad of reasons, and seasonal allergy sufferers notice its effects first-hand. Climate change causes the growing seasons to stretch longer and get warmer, which means higher tree, grass and weed pollen counts.2 Pollen is an airborne allergen composed of tiny seeds from flowering plants.3 Usually, tree pollen allergies only last from February through June; but with longer seasons, some parts of the United States even experience pollen year-round.2 Extreme rainfall and rising temperatures also contribute to indoor air quality problems, such as excessive mold growth which may lead to worsened respiratory conditions for people with mold allergies.3 To make matters worse, warmer air temperatures get trapped in urban areas, a factor in air pollution.2
Numerous people already deal with seasonal allergic rhinitis, a.k.a. hay fever--an affliction mostly caused by seasonal pollen allergies.3 If we don’t slow the rate of climate change, pollen production and air pollution will only get worse, meaning the people already suffering from seasonal allergies will have a more difficult time managing the symptoms, and more new people will start developing seasonal allergies as well.2
How to Avoid Allergies in Any City
Everyone reacts to various allergens differently, and you know your body best. Follow these pro-tips when choosing the best place to live for your body’s specific needs.
Know your Allergy “Terrain”
If you’re allergic to weed pollen, you might breathe easier in mountainous and forested areas. In particular, the Pacific Northwest tends to have less ragweed pollen than the rest of the country.1 In desert areas like parts of Arizona and Nevada, landscaping with trees, shrubs, and grasses from other parts of the country end up changing the air quality of deserts.1
If you’re considering relocating or visiting a city to avoid a particularly troublesome allergen, remember: it’s difficult to completely avoid an entire plant family. Proteins in pollen are very similar within plant families and often highly cross-reactive. So even if you move, you can end up developing sensitivity to another allergen within the same family.1
While relocating may offer some relief from allergy symptoms, it won’t get rid of them entirely. Wherever you are, the best thing to do come allergy season is check the pollen count and treat symptoms accordingly.
You also should find a reliable allergy relief product like FLONASE that works for you. FLONASE ALLERGY RELIEF NASAL SPRAY is the #1 doctor recommended allergy relief brand, blocks six different allergic substances*, only needs to be used once every 24 hours and is available in different sizes for your needs.
*Mechanism of action. Flonase acts on multiple inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.