Top 10 spring allergy cities in the US, 2018 report finds

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
April 24, 2018, 8:21:41 AM EDT

Spring allergies can cause a lot of misery for millions of people in the United States, so knowing the most challenging places to live with spring allergies can help people in these areas be more aware of what may contribute to their allergy symptoms.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) released its annual Spring Allergy CapitalsTM report on Monday, April 23, to identify the 100 most challenging places to live with spring allergies in the U.S.

More than 50 million Americans with seasonal allergies experience runny and congested noses, inflamed sinuses, relentless sneezing and other symptoms associated with springtime allergies.

Tree pollen is the most common allergen during springtime, while mold comes in second for springtime irritants.

The report is a tool to help identify cities where seasonal allergy symptoms can create challenges.

McAllen, Texas, is the most challenging U.S. city to live in with spring allergies based on higher-than-average pollen scores, higher-than-average medicine usage and lower availability of board-certified allergists in the area.

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The Spring Allergy Capitals Report highlights the cities that face the most challenges due to high pollen counts, high allergy medicine use and lower access to specialized care by allergists.

“This report helps people in these areas be more aware of what may contribute to their allergy symptoms so they can work with their health care providers to get relief. With the right treatment plan, seasonal allergies can be managed for better quality of life,” President and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Kenneth Mendez said.

“Recent hurricanes and severe storms also affect the severity of spring allergies. The increased presence of mold in areas damaged by floods can trigger allergic reactions,” Mendez said.

That could be why we see cities in the southern and southwestern U.S. dominating the Spring Allergy Capitals list, Mendez said.

Even if you live in one of the top Spring Allergy Capitals in the U.S., Mendez said there are things you can do to reduce your exposure to pollens and mold and reduce your allergy symptoms.

Georgia Pollen

Pollen is seen in the air in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

“Spring allergy season can be tough for me since I have allergies, too. During high pollen or mold count days, it’s best to stay indoors with your windows closed. I can’t always do this since I love being outdoors, so as a prevention, I wear sunglasses and a hat to reduce the amount of allergens that get into my eyes and collect in my hair. I also shower before bedtime to remove pollen," Mendez said.

There are several treatments available including over-the-counter or prescription medicines, according to Mendez. You can also discuss immunotherapy options with your allergist.

Allergies are a common trigger of asthma, a potentially life-threatening condition.

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"The Spring Allergy Capitals Report can provide awareness and emphasize the importance of seeing an allergist this season, especially if you live in one of the high pollen zones," said Clifford W. Bassett, M.D., FACAAI, FAAAAI, the Founder and Medical Director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York and medical spokesperson for AAFA.

As there is no cure for allergies at this time, proper treatment, allergen control and support are the best ways to manage seasonal allergy triggers. AAFA offers online education and support and helps consumers identify products and services that are suitable for people with asthma and allergies.

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