Which cities in your state are the worst for seasonal allergies?

Yellow face with scrunched eyes, blowing nose into white tissue

Yellow face with scrunched eyes, blowing nose into white tissue (iStock/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — Ah-choo! Does spring have you sneezing, wheezing or congested? Where you live may be making your allergies worse.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recently ranked the 100 most-populated metropolitan areas on how challenging it is for seasonal allergy sufferers who live there. The foundation used 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data, pollen scores, over-the-counter allergy medicine sales and estimates of allergy-specific health care access.

AAFA’s 2022 Allergy Capitals list shows the states with the highest number of “challenging” seasonal allergy cities are Connecticut, Texas and New York — which have three cities each. Florida, Pennsylvania and South Carolina come in second with two cities each.

Find the full list below and decide if it’s time to move!

Most challenging cities

  1. Scranton, Pennsylvania
  2. Wichita, Kansas
  3. McAllen, Texas
  4. Richmond, Virginia
  5. San Antonio, Texas
  6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  7. Hartford, Connecticut
  8. Buffalo, New York
  9. New Haven, Connecticut
  10. Albany, New York
  11. Bridgeport, Connecticut
  12. Springfield, Massachussetts
  13. Dayton, Ohio
  14. Columbia, South Carolina
  15. El Paso, Texas
  16. Syracuse, New York
  17. Des Moines, Iowa
  18. Miami, Florida
  19. Memphis, Tennessee
  20. Las Vegas, Nevada
  21. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  22. Jacksonville, Florida
  23. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  24. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  25. Greenville, South Carolina

What’s the deal with Scranton? AAFA explains Scranton is the top seasonal allergy offender year-round, for both spring and fall allergies due to higher-than-average pollen levels and having fewer board-certified allergists/immunologists in the area.

‘Average’ seasonal allergy cities (26-75)

  1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  2. Riverside, California
  3. Dallas, Texas
  4. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  5. St. Louis, Missouri
  6. Charleston, South Carolina
  7. Greensboro, North Carolina
  8. Poughkeepsie, New York
  9. Houston, Texas
  10. Knoxville, Tennessee
  11. Toledo, Ohio
  12. Lakeland, Florida
  13. Daytona Beach, Florida
  14. Columbus, Ohio
  15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  16. Orlando, Florida
  17. Sarasota, Florida
  18. Louisville, Kentucky
  19. Tuscon, Arizona
  20. Cape Coral, Florida
  21. Palm Bay, Florida
  22. Akron, Ohio
  23. Oxnard, California
  24. Little Rock, Arkansas
  25. Worcester, Massachusetts
  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Cleveland, Ohio
  3. Tampa, Florida
  4. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  5. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  7. Augusta, Georgia
  8. Charlotte, North Carolina
  9. Birmingham, Alabama
  10. Nashville, Tennessee
  11. Jackson, Mississippi
  12. Rochester, New York
  13. Detroit, Michigan
  14. Indianapolis, Indiana
  15. Los Angeles, California
  16. New York, New York
  17. Austin, Texas
  18. Chicago, Illinois
  19. Providence, Rhode Island
  20. Cincinnati, Ohio
  21. Atlanta, Georgia
  22. Kansas City, Missouri
  23. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  24. Omaha, Nebraska
  25. Boston, Massachusetts

‘Better than average’ seasonal allergy cities (76-100)

  1. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  2. Spokane, Washington
  3. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  4. Baltimore, Maryland
  5. Ogden, Utah
  6. Raleigh, North Carolina
  7. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  8. Boise, Idaho
  9. Bakersfield, California
  10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  11. Stockton, California
  12. Madison, Wisconsin
  13. San Diego, California
  14. Washington, D.C.
  15. Salt Lake City, Utah
  16. Fresno, California
  17. Phoenix, Arizona
  18. Provo, Utah
  19. Denver, Colorado
  20. Sacramento, California
  21. Portland, Oregon
  22. San Jose, California
  23. San Francisco, California
  24. Durham, North Carolina
  25. Seattle, Washington

California contains the most “better than average” seasonal allergy cities on the list. The AAFA notes pollen count estimates are “limited” in Alaska and Hawaii and aren’t included.

Pollen allergy (spring) season usually begins around early February and continues through early summer, depending where you live. But a study published in the Nature Communications academic journal last month indicates the season could become even longer due to climate change. Researchers estimate the season could begin up to 40 days earlier than it does now and pollen concentrations even higher — all contributing to worse allergy seasons overall.


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