The Worst US Cities to Live in for People With Seasonal Allergies

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After making it through another long winter, warmer spring weather gave us a reason to get excited. But now that allergy season is in full swing, those who live with seasonal allergies—sometimes referred to as “hay fever”—may be wishing that they lived somewhere else. Specifically, somewhere where allergy season isn’t so severe.

But where, exactly, is that? And where are the places that people with seasonal allergies should avoid? Those are a few of the questions the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) sought to answer in their annual Allergy Capitals report. Here are their 2022 findings.

What the Allergy Capitals report took into consideration

In order to rank how challenging it is to live with spring or fall allergies in various US cities, the AAFA considered the following factors in their 2022 Allergy Capitals report:

  • Spring pollen scores
  • Fall pollen scores
  • Over-the-counter medicine use
  • Availability of board-certified allergists/immunologists

Data was collected from the 100 most-populated US metropolitan areas.

The 10 worst cities for people with seasonal allergies

Though more than 50 million Americans live with different types of allergies, not everyone is affected equally. While some only deal with some itchy eyes and sniffles for a few weeks a year, others face months of fatigue and other severe symptoms that can, at times, be debilitating.

If you fall into that category, you know how bad it can get, and why someone might want to factor in the severity of seasonal allergies when considering a move to a new city. And based on the AAFA’s reportthat would mean avoiding Scranton, PA, which was ranked as the 2022 Allergy Capital of the US, thanks to its:

  • Higher-than-average spring pollen
  • Higher-than-average fall pollen
  • Fewer board-certified allergists/immunologists

Here’s the full list of the top-10 most challenging cities for people with seasonal allergies:

  1. Scranton, Pa.
  2. Wichita, Kansas
  3. McAllen, TX
  4. Richmond, VA
  5. San Antonio, TX
  6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  7. Hartford, Connecticut
  8. Buffalo, New York
  9. New Haven, Connecticut
  10. Albany, New York

10 best cities for people with seasonal allergies

While no city is an allergy-free utopia, according to the AAFA, these are the least challenging for people with seasonal allergies:

  1. Fresno, California
  2. Phoenix, Arizona
  3. Provo, UT
  4. Denver, Colorado
  5. Sacramento, CA
  6. Portland, Oregon
  7. San Jose, California
  8. San Francisco, California
  9. Durham, North Carolina
  10. Seattle, Washington

You can read the entire report and see where your city ranks on the AAFA website.

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