Top 10 Worst Cities in the U.S. for People with Spring Pollen Allergies
As soon as the spring comes to the city, people with seasonal allergies have to survive the high pollen season once again. If you are allergic to pollen, you know how annoying it is to cope with endless sneezes, sniffles and other pollen allergy symptoms, while everyone else seems to be finally enjoying the warm weather.
In the United States, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) ranks the 100 largest metro areas every year, based on the following criteria: pollen counts, allergy medicine use, and allergy doctors. Below, you will find a list of 10 worst cities for seasonal allergy sufferers.
#10: Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second largest city in the state of New York that is located next to Niagara Falls. According to experts, this place has the sunniest and driest springs in the entire Northeast, which results in high pollen scores and longer allergy seasons. Statistics shows that people in Buffalo use more medications for allergy than average. The situation with pollen has become worse in this city since 2015 when it had the 36th position in the AAFA’s rank.
#9: Knoxville, Tennessee
In general, pollen counts in Knoxville are not much higher than in other cities. However, research has shown that the use of allergy meds here is above the average, which is why it was included in the top 10. Pollens produced by oak, birch, and maple box trees are the most common spring allergy triggers in Knoxville. Since the city is surrounded by mountains, a lot of this pollen gets trapped in the valley.
#8: Providence, Rhode Island
Providence has been in the AAFA’s top 10 for several years in a row, even though the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology hasn’t set up any pollen counter in the city. Daily temperatures here tend to be high in spring, which helps plants grow producing more pollen. According to the AAFA’s 2018 report, the levels of the allergy-inducing yellow dust in Providence are not significantly higher than average, but allergy medications are used more commonly than in most other places. Besides, the number of allergy doctors in the area is lower.
#7: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The situation in the capital of Oklahoma may not be as bad as last year when it was ranked №3, but the pollen levels still remain high in this area. It’s not surprising at all, as there is a lot of sunshine and trees. On warm, dry and windy days, the pollen counts go even higher, and the tiny allergy-causing grains spread on miles in the wind. Most people in Oklahoma City are allergic to pollen from oak, mulberry, poplar, aspen, and sycamore trees.
#6: Wichita, Kansas
This Midwestern city is the largest one in Kansas. Here, weeds and grasses are the most common seasonal allergens. Wichita’s high position in the rank can be explained by the combination high pollen counts, above-average use of allergy meds, as well as relatively low number of allergy doctors.
#5: McAllen, Texas
In McAllen, mountain cedar trees are to blame for high levels of allergy-inducing airborne pollen in spring, while pollen from mesquite and huisache grasses and other native plants causes allergies in summer. The weather in this city is very dry with only 26 inches of rain per year, which is not enough to wash the pollen away.
#4: Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky bluegrass is a world-class allergen that produces more pollen than any other type of grass in the United States. If you are allergic to grass and live in Louisville, you most likely know how allergy symptoms can make you feel desperate in the late spring and early summer months. However, research shows that the situation in Louisville is improving, which is good news for many allergy sufferers.
#3: Syracuse, New York
This part of New York state has super-high pollen counts, according to the AAFA. In Syracuse, there are many hardwood trees, which are used by local people to make furniture. Most seasonal allergies are triggered by pollen from oak and elm.
#2: Memphis, Tennessee
If you are looking for a good place to live for people with spring allergies, Memphis is definitely not on the list. Warm days and cool nights typical for Memphis create a super-friendly environment for trees that pollinate in spring. In addition, this place is neither recommended for those who have asthma.
#1: Jackson, Mississippi
Based on the AAFA’s ranking, Jackson, or the City with Soul, is the worst city in the country for pollen allergies. More than half of the state of Mississippi are covered by oak, elm, ash, and hickory trees that produce huge amounts of pollen in spring. Airborne pollen levels and use of allergy meds are super-high in Jackson. Besides, a number of allergy doctors is higher than average, unlike in other cities in the top 10.