Best and Worst Cities for Allergies in 2015

Millions of Americans suffer from allergies, especially during the spring. Grasses, weeds and trees deposit pollen everywhere, which can lead to sneezing itchy eyes, and many other uncontrollable and sometimes severe symptoms. In addition to allergies, nearly 25 million people have asthma and spring puts them at higher risk of complications. Finding the best cities for allergies can help these people breathe easier.

The Five Best Cities for Allergies in 2015

Not all places in the U.S. are created equal when it comes to allergies. These best cities for allergies are on the list because they are proven to trigger less hassle, pain, annoyance and health issues for people who suffer from allergies.

1. San Diego, CA

In San Diego, ocean breezes push the pollen out of the city rather than letting it settle there, eliminating a lot of problems for the 3.1 million people who live there. The city also has a huge number of allergists compared to patients, which means that getting in to see a doctor and get some relief is easier.

2. Daytona Beach, FL

This place is right on the beach which keeps pollen away. There are very few trees that actually produce pollen here. There are plenty of specialists in town, as well as the cleansing power of the ocean to help “scrub” away the pollen that does appear.

3. Colorado Springs, CO

The high elevation of this town is what makes it allergy-friendly. Dust mites are much less common at the elevation of more than 6,000 feet. Air pollutants are also low and the humidity is always on the lower end of the scale. Add into the lower levels of pollen coming from the snow-capped mountains, you’re in luck.

4. Provo, UT

At over 4,000 feet in elevation, Provo has the same benefits as Colorado Springs. Those who live in the mountainous areas tend to encounter less pollen and pollutants, making them much less allergy prone.

5. Sacramento, CA

Nestled by the ocean, this city has a great number of specialists who are ready to treat allergies before they start. A good number of people in the area are on allergy medication, which proves that the specialists are doing their job. The pollen counts are also notoriously low.

How to Tell If a Place Is Allergy-Friendly

There are a few ways to tell if a place will be on the list of best cities for allergies.

1. Pollen Count

The overall pollen count matters greatly when it comes to allergies. Most people suffer at anything from 20-100 on the pollen count scale, so take a look at any potential city on this scale before you go there. Keep in mind that pollen is everywhere except the most extreme climate areas, so a lower count is always safer.

2. Geography

Places with mountains and those that are near the ocean tend to have lower pollen counts. Though the west often has lower counts than other places, it is not guaranteed. In 2010, the American west has substantial pollen counts that really bothered those who live there.

3. Weather

Moist and humid air tends to let trees and plants grow like mad, increasing pollen counts. It also makes a really stressful day when it gets overly warm outside. Look for places like the mountains, where the air is drier and is at higher elevations.

4. City vs. Country

Seasonal allergies lurk more commonly in the country, but the city has the distinct disadvantage of trapping more allergens for a longer period of time. Besides, someone who finds a break from one type of allergy can develop another soon after they move to a new area.

The Five Worst Cities for Allergies in 2015

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, these worst cities for allergies were chosen by ranking the pollen scores, number of specialists in an area and the number of people who use medications to help them get through allergy season.

1. Jackson, MS

The pollen count is huge and the number of specialists is okay, but there is no hiding from the high humidity and vicious winds that tend to blow around all that pollen. It’s a good idea to avoid going outside on windy days and consider wearing a dust mask.

2. Louisville, KY

Tree pollen and mold are high in this city, thus those who suffer from allergies are in for a rough ride. Besides, the intermittent rainfall and huge array of farms mean that pollen problems are just waiting to happen.

3. Oklahoma City, OK

Deep in the heartland of America, pollen problems arise from climate change, changes in rain levels, temperature fluctuations and weather patterns, all of which spells disaster for pollen sufferers in Oklahoma City.

4. Memphis, TN

This city by the Mississippi River has more than enough pollen in store for residents. In fact, pollen counts are expected to rise by more than double by 2040, including the humid area of Memphis. The urban area captures all that pollen from the surrounding fields. You are going to have a nightmare there if you’ve got an asthma and allergic crisis.

5. Knoxville, TN

Though there are a great number of specialists here to help allergy sufferers, there are also more than the average number of people who turn to medications to help them through sky-high pollen counts.

Relief Tips for Allergies

Don’t live in the best cities for allergies? These tips can help you survive, wherever you are.

1. Reduce Your Exposure to Triggers

When pollen counts are high, stay inside – if you must go out, wear a mask over your nose. Never hang laundry outside and keep doors and windows closed during times of high pollen counts. Avoid lawn mowing and other yard work. Try to schedule your errands right after a good rain.

2. Keep Indoor Air Clean

Use high-efficiency filters on the air conditioners in your home and never use fans which pull pollen into your house. Keep the air dry with a dehumidifier. Clean floors often by using a vacuum with a serious filter.

3. Take OTC Medicine

Turn to over the counter remedies, such as anti-histamines, to help you through the worst of it. Decongestants and nasal sprays can help, and so can things like a neti pot. If the allergies are very bad, talk to your doctor.

4. Try Natural Remedies

Try rinsing out your sinuses on a regular basis and use a mask when you can. Consider natural remedies, such as supplements of spirulina (a type of dried algae) or butterbur.

5. See Your Doctor

If the home remedies don’t work and your allergies affect your daily tasks, it’s time to see a doctor. Get emergent medical attention if you have serious trouble breathing.

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