More than 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and most of those allergies are driven by the pollen in the air.
The AAFA released its annual list of so-called “allergy capitals” in the U.S. for 2022. It is based on pollen data, the use of over-the-counter allergy medication and the number of board-certified allergists or immunologists in each place.
A city at the top of the list means allergy sufferers will likely have a more challenging time treating them, and the opposite is true if a city is at the bottom of the list.
Kenneth Mendez, CEO and president of the AAFA, said that more than 24 million people in the U.S. have hay fever – a condition that produces a runny nose, congestion, sneezing and itching. He said seasonal allergies can also trigger an asthma attack, and emergency room visits spike each pollen season.
“Around 3,600 people per year die from asthma, so it is important to address and manage asthma and allergy triggers where you live,” Mendez said in a press release issued by the AAFA.
The AAFA recommends people with seasonal allergies keep the windows closed during pollen season, use HEPA filters on their A/C systems, take showers before bed and wear masks and hair coverings when outside. Get even more tips from the AAFA here.
Several over-the-counter medications can also help people manage their allergies. Check with a doctor to see which treatment is best.
10 least-challenging places in US for seasonal allergy sufferers
10. Fresno, California
9. Phoenix, Arizona
8. Provo, Utah
7. Denver, Colorado
6. Sacramento, California
5. Portland, Oregon
4. San Jose, California
3. San Francisco, California
2. Durham, North Carolina
1. Seattle, Washington