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The 10 Worst States for Allergies in the U.S.


It is estimated that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, of which many are seasonal. One of the main causes of seasonal allergies is pollen grains. The negative effects of climate change have led to increased pollen production, causing longer and more severe seasonal allergies. According to Air Purifiers, some of the primary symptoms of allergies include an itchy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal congestion. Allergens are believed to be everywhere, but their intensity depends on where you live. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranks the following ten states as some of the worst places to live in the U.S. if you have allergies.

10. Rhode Island- Providence

Spring means allergy season in Providence, Rhode Island. In Providence, the warmer it is, the more pollen is released in the air, making it the worst time for people with asthma and allergies. Allergies are at their peak in April. It is expected that this year there will be an increase in allergic infections because of pollen from trees like oak, maple, and birch. According to Allergyri, tree allergies are expected to last from April to June. In May and June, grasses are also expected to release pollen, making it intense for people with allergies. All this means that spring allergies will be prolonged this year.

People will likely experience frequent sneezing and itchy eyes, ears, and throat. According to the Asthma and Allergy Department of Rhode Island, there are a few things that providence residents can do to mitigate the effects of overexposure to pollen. One is to download an app that helps them avoid being outside when the pollen count is high. Two, wear a mask when you are going out in public.

9. Ohio- Dayton

A Dayton Arthritis and Allergy Center report shows that approximately 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. A big percentage of people living with allergies are found in Dayton, Ohio. Most of these allergies are found in children but can also develop at any age. The report released by the allergy department in Dayton was meant to make residents more aware of allergy triggers and how they can work with caregivers to get relief. Spring should be a happy time, but for some people, it is time for allergies. Tree and grass pollen are the main contributors to allergies.

Tree pollen is particularly high in spring as grass pollen continues during the year. Some common symptoms of allergies are sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and a running nose. People who have allergic asthma tend to suffer from asthma flare-ups. Using an air conditioner and humidifier are some of the things you can use to reduce seasonal allergies. It also helps to stay indoors, especially in the morning when the pollen count is at its highest. On windy days, keeping your home and car windows closed is advisable. If you have to walk outside, wearing a mask is important. After staying outside, make sure you take a shower.

8. Oklahoma- Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City is the largest city in Oklahoma State. It is located in the middle of the state. This city experiences the worst allergies during the cold season. The season is relatively cold, and it does not last long. The mild weather causes trees to pollinate early, becoming active around February. Oklahoma is known for its flat terrain, which causes it to experience dry and windy weather.

Immediately after winter, the state experiences post-winter wind from as far as Texas, causing allergen triggers. Trees such as mulberry, oak, and hackberry bloom, causing a lot of pollen allergens to Oklahoma residents. As it becomes warm, grass causes a lot of sneezing and sniffling. It is estimated that 75% of Oklahoma residents suffer from seasonal allergies.

7. Texas- McAllen

McAllen is a vibrant city in the southern part of Texas. The city is located near the Gulf of Mexico on the Southern border. The strategic location means the city experiences a warm, nice climate that increases the growing season. The region experiencing below-average rainfall makes it increasingly difficult to wash away the released pollen. There are no hard freezes in Texas, so many plants pollinate throughout the year.

If you combine all these factors, McAllen becomes the worst city to live in if you are prone to seasonal allergies. Unlike other cities, there is no allergy season in McAllen. In summer and spring, trees and grass are there to cause allergies. In the fall, many residents complain of an increase in ragweed pollen. This has been going on for the last 25 years. Allergy experts explain that there has been an increase in the number of individuals suffering from allergies because the mold count has tripled in the last 15 years. Winter is the worst time because residents suffer from cedar pollen.

6. Virginia- Richmond

Richmond is an expansive city in the eastern-central part of Virginia. The city is located at the head of the James River. Virginia experiences short and cold winters and long springs, which last up to fall. Trees and plants start to grow and bloom in late February when they release pollen grains. During spring, dry winds quickly and easily spread these allergens. Grass pollen allergies are more common in summer, but this is worse in Richmond. This period extends to late September, and it does not end the time when ragweed pollen starts spewing its pollen into the air.

All the above issues, combined with the fact that Virginia experiences an above-average rainfall, creates the perfect environment for molds that cause mold allergies. This means that approximately 60% of residents in Richmond are prone to sneezing caused by seasonal allergies. According to NBC12, some ways to counter the effects of allergies when the pollen count is high are to remove shoes before getting into the house and wear masks when you go outside. In spring, dry your clothes using a drier or in an enclosed area.

5. Kansas- Wichita

Wichita is a city located along the Arkansas River in the south-central part of Kansas. Winters in Wichita are particularly dry, cold, and windy. Summers are considered to be hot and humid. Wichita has a high percentage of particular maple trees, one of the main contributors to tree pollen allergies. The city's terrain is another factor that makes it one of the worst places to live if you have allergies. The windy, flat landscape creates the perfect environment for pollen grains transported by wind from other states to Kansas. There is usually a high count of grass pollen in the air all year round. Experts interpret that this is attributed to winter now occurring earlier than usual, giving plants more time to bloom and grow.

Around 47% of people living in Wichita have seasonal allergies. During fall, most of the allergies are caused by ragweed pollens. Some plants such as cedar, birch, and hazelnut are known to be active during this time, blooming with flowers that release pollen grains in the air. Pollen grains result in allergies because they affect the sinuses and the respiratory system. This is why the common symptoms of allergies are a running nose, watery eyes, increased mucus, and coughing. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see the doctor.

4. Pennsylvania- Scranton

At number four, we have Scranton, Pennsylvania. Scranton City is located near the Lackawanna River Valley in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. This part of the United States experiences mild summers and cold winters. During spring and summer, many residents suffer from allergies caused by tree pollen. The worst season for allergies in Scranton is between August and September, when there is a lot of ragweed pollen in the air. Scranton also receives an above-average amount of rainfall, causing molds to be a great challenge for people with allergies. Approximately 50% of people living in Scranton have to deal with seasonal allergies yearly.

Climate change is another issue that significantly contributes to an increase in allergic infections. There is an increase in global temperatures making our planet more prone to allergies. High temperatures make winters to be mild, and they cause a longer blooming season. For example, the atmospheric temperatures in Scranton have risen by at least three degrees from 1970. While it may not seem so, this has made a huge difference for plants and trees.

3. Tennessee- Memphis

The transition from winter to spring in Tennessee comes with watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing. These are some of the symptoms of common allergy. Spring is a colorful season of the year, but to some people in Memphis, it is one of their sad moments. According to Fox13 Memphis, in an interview, one of Tennessee's residents says he suffers from a running nose, itchy throat, and nasal drip every spring. Tennessee State is blessed with so many trees. During spring, these trees' flowers bloom, which means pollen allergens are released into the air.

Oak trees are the most notorious for releasing pollen grains into the air. Whenever the flowers bloom, they spew tons of pollen. If you park your car near the oak tree, you might see a greenish sheen on the windscreen. One doctor in Memphis explained in an interview that Memphis has a high pollen count compared to other cities. He further expounds by saying the reason is Memphis's location near the river Arkansas. If you are prone to pollen allergies, staying away from this city is safe, especially in spring. In 2020, many people suffered from severe allergies because of the covid-19 pandemic.

2. Mississippi- Jackson

Spring is a beautiful season with blossoming flowers and longer days. Sadly, it comes with the rise in common allergies in Jackson, MS. If you are a resident of Mississippi, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and causes and possible complications from allergies. It can be daunting to know whether the symptoms you are showing are that of fever or allergies. Many people who live in Mississippi are aware of the symptoms of common allergies. According to Trust Care Health, if it is your first time living in this state, the main symptoms of Jackson's common allergies are vomiting, sneezing, wheezing, cough, red skin, fatigue, irritability, and diarrhea.

The main cause of common allergies is a distorted immune system. They mainly occur in Jackson, Mississippi, and anywhere else in the world because your immune system attacks a harmless matter in your body. The body responds by producing antibodies that are on the lookout for allergens. If you are exposed to an allergen again, your body will respond by producing chemicals like histamine. The main causes of common allergies are pollen, mold, dust, insect stings, cosmetics, and perfumes. Few residents in this state have reportedly suffered from allergen complications such as anaphylaxis.

1. Kentucky- Louisville

Kentucky is a beautiful state famous for horse races, bourbon, and bluegrass. With all its good things, the allergy season is an extremely difficult time for Kentucky residents. Louisville is considered one of the worst places to live if you are prone to seasonal allergies. According to Wyndly, seasons in Kentucky vary greatly. Winters are known to be exceptionally cold, reducing the cause of pollen allergies. As much as pollen allergies are on the low, indoor allergens like mold, pet dander, and dust are still an issue.

Spring gives birth to the season of tree allergies. Trees such as cedar, poplar, pine, juniper, maple, mulberry, willow, olive, and sweet gum are the main cause of tree allergy. Tree allergy season begins in February and ends in late or early May. Summer is a fun time to be out and enjoy the sun. But for residents of Kentucky, this is the time when grass allergies are at their peak. The main causes are bluegrass, redtop grasses, and orchard. Grass pollen allergies are on the rise in May and peak in June. Fall presents weed allergies. The main causes are pigweed, wormwood, and ragweed. Weed allergy season starts in August and peaks in September.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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