20 Worst U.S. Cities for Spring Allergies
This list of popular locales is nothing to sneeze at.
Spring heralds longer, lighter days and the irrepressible feeling that summer’s within reach. Sadly, for a less-fortunate group of people, spring also signals the advent of allergy season. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million people suffer from seasonal allergies in the United States alone, with symptoms peaking in the fall and spring.
Still, in some places, allergies hit harder than others; that is to say, if you’ve ever felt like your allergy symptoms are less pronounced in Boston than they are in, say Wichita, know that you’re not imagining things. The AAFA’s list of the worst offenders when it comes to spring allergies are nothing to sneeze at. And if you’re struggling with some serious sniffles, be sure to bone up on The Best Ways to Breathe Easier This Allergy Season.
This Mississippi city ranks number one on the AAFA’s list of spring allergy capitals, scoring 100 points on their allergy factors checklist, which includes pollen score, medicine utilization, and the number of allergists per 10,000 residents. And, unfortunately for Jackson residents, it doesn’t seem like things are improving: the city won first place the year before, too. And for a more enjoyable trip this spring, try visiting one of The 100 Happiest Cities in America.
Memphis, Tennessee, is hot on the heels of Jackson, with a score of 94.74, although it has significantly fewer board-certified allergists than the city that outranks it. And when you want a more relaxing trip, book yourself a getaway to one of the 20 Most Zen Places on Earth.
Warmer climates don’t always pack more allergens, as evidenced by Syracuse scoring the number three spot, with a score of 87.97. Luckily, you can make your next trip more enjoyable by flying into one of the 34 Best Airports in America.
Louisville, Kentucky, ranks number four on the list, with a score of 87.88 and both average pollen and an average number of allergists.
This small city is a big travel don’t for allergy sufferers, scoring 87.31 on AAFA’s national ranking list.
Tornadoes and wizards aren’t Kansas’ only claims to fame: the city also scored 86.82, according to AAFA’s metrics.
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City ranked seventh on the list, with high pollen, high medicine use, and only an average number of allergists contributing to their score of 83.61. And when you want to spice up your next trip, high-tail it to one of the 33 Best Roadside Attractions in America.
Rhode Island’s capital earned the dubious eighth place honor, with a score of 81.54. And when you want to make your next family vacation more enjoyable, discover the 25 Best Ways to Travel with Children.
Tennessee earned two spots in the top 10, with Knoxville earning a score of 81.32.
Rounding out the top 10 is New York’s second-largest city, Buffalo, with a score of 79.31.
Dayton, Ohio earned a sniffle-inducing score of 78.69, with high pollen, high medicine use, and only an average number of allergists.
Little Rock, AR
Arkansas’ capital took home the number 12 spot, with an eye-watering score of 77.31.
Unlucky number 13 goes to Columbia, South Carolina, with a score of 76.77.
Richmond, Virginia, came in right behind Columbia, scoring 75.35, despite its per-person medicine use being average.
Baton Rouge, LA
Louisiana’s capital city scored 74.99, although its pollen counts and number of allergists were average.
Oklahoma took home yet another not-quite-honor on the list, scoring 74.71.
New Orleans, LA
The Big Easy isn’t so easy on allergy sufferers, it would seem, as evidenced by its score of 74.12.
This Ohio city on Lake Erie is home to a famous zoo, war museum, and lots of allergy sufferers, with a score of 73.01, jumping to number 18 from 32 the previous year.
Winston-Salem took home the penultimate spot on the top 20 with a score of 71.14.
Rounding out the top 20 is Springfield, Massachusetts, earning a score of 70.91, and jumping six spots from the previous year, with average pollen, medicine use, and allergist numbers. And when you’re looking somewhere more enjoyable to take your next trip, try out one of The 20 Best Cities to Visit Before You Die.
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