Jeff Flowers on February 1, 2016 1 Comment If you’re thinking about moving to a new state or city and also suffer from allergies, you might want to see where your desired city ranks when it comes to seasonal allergies. To help you figure this out, the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America published two reports in 2015 that highlights the top 100 cities that are the worst for allergy sufferers. One report focused on fall allergies, while the second report focused on spring allergies. These reports take into account three factors: The amount of pollen and mold is in the air. The amount of allergy medications the residents of each city takes. The number of allergy doctors available per 100,000 residents. After reviewing these two studies from the AAFA, we have highlighted the top ten cities that are especially bad for allergy sufferers. See if yours makes the cut, and learn what to do about it if you’re currently there or have little choice but to move there. 1. Jackson, Mississippi Coming in as the absolute worst city in the United States to live if you have allergies, Jackson, Mississippi is categorized as “worse than average” when it comes to those susceptible of allergies. Not only does it have a worse than average amount of pollen in the air, but the residents of the city overwhelming take medication to help combat the symptoms associated with allergies. There is one bit of good news for residents of Jackson, the city was ranked as “average” when it comes to the amount of Board-Certified Allergists in the area. So, if you are suffering from allergy symptoms, you have plenty of doctors to consult with. 2. Louisville, Kentucky Ranked as the second worst city for allergies, Louisville follows the same trends as Jackson. In 2015, the cities pollen score was ranked worse than average. To give you a better idea of what this means, average is 300 grains/cubic meters of air every day. The city is also worse than average when it comes to the amount of allergy medicine patients use, with the average being 1.11 medications for each patient. However, one bright spot for Louisville, is that when you do need the help of a board certified allergist, the city is ranked “better than average” in terms of overall availability. 3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma When the pollen from poplar, mulberry and aspen trees combines with the dry windy season of Oklahoma City, you can expect your allergies to let you know that spring has arrived. Coming in at a solid third from the AAFA, Oklahoma City is categorized as “worse than average” due to the amount of allergens in the air, as well as the percentage of residents that take allergy medications. However, much like Louisville, Oklahoma City ranks above average in regard to the amount of certified allergists available to residents. If your allergies are especially bad, it is recommended that you change clothes when you arrive home and take a shower to help minimize the amount of allergens you track inside your home. 4. Memphis, Tennessee The first of two cities from Tennessee, Memphis comes in at the fourth worst city for allergies. Memphis earned a “worse than average” ranking for both the amount of pollen in the air and the amount of allergy medication being consumed by residents of the city. When it comes to the amount of board-certified allergists available, Memphis squeaks by with just an average rating. It’s the springtime temperatures that are mainly to blame for the abundance of pollen. While the city isn’t ranked as highly as it has been in recent years, you’ll still want to shut your windows and turn on the air conditioner during the warmer months of the year. 5. Knoxville, Tennessee The other city from the Volunteer State, Knoxville ranks just behind Memphis. While there are plenty of allergists to be found in the city of Knoxville for those springtime allergies, there’s also lots of pollen that settles in the area, mainly because it’s trapped within the surrounding mountains. Specific tree breeds to be aware of when you’re out are maple box elder, oak and birch. While Knoxville scores “worse than average” for pollen and the amount of allergy medications taken, they do rank better than Memphis when it comes to the amount of certified allergists in the city. Ranked “better than average,” residents of Knoxville have plenty of options when it comes to seeking out a doctor to help them alleviate their symptoms. 6. McAllen, Texas photo credit: Flickr While it comes in at the sixth worst city for those that suffer from allergies, McAllen is the first of two cities on this list that scores “worse than average” across the board. The wide variety of native plants, grasses and pollen are the most notable reason why McAllen can be a miserable place for both fall and spring allergies. However, McAllen is the first city on this list to score “worse than average” for the amount of allergists available. This is likely due to its location. Hugging the border of Mexico, McAllen is located near the southern tip of Texas. This somewhat obscure location not only means there are less doctors available, but also increases the number of citizens that cross the border to seek treatment. It is unclear if the AAFA took this into consideration when scoring McAllen on this list. 7. Wichita, Kansas The overall ranking for Kansas when it comes to spring allergies has risen in the past few years, which is most likely because of the abundance of native grasses and weeds that grow in the area. Far from being one of the absolute worst cities for allergy sufferers, Wichita does have a noted increase in its overall use of allergy medications, as well as the increased amount of pollen. Wichita also scored an “average” number in regard to the number of board-certified allergists that practice in the city. 8. Dayton, Ohio Spring is the worst time to be in Dayton if you suffer from allergies. Specific trees that are well known for shedding pollen in the air are cedar, juniper, cypress and beech. It’s not uncommon for people who have allergies to keep sneezing until May in Dayton. One of the main contributing factors for this city making the list is that it’s had a recent spike in the number of allergy medications being used. Dayton scores just an “average” ranking when it comes to the amount of allergy doctors available in the city. 9. Providence, Rhode Island Like McAllen, Providence scores “worse than average” rankings across the board. Increased temperatures are good for plant life, but they’re horrible for your allergies due to the extra pollen that’s produced. As a result, more and more people are taking allergy medications to mitigate the symptoms they are experiencing. Something else to bear in mind if you’re thinking about moving to Providence is that the city has a lower-than-average number of allergists available to see. 10. Richmond, Virginia While not the absolute worst city for those who have allergies, Richmond is consistent in its ranking for one of the worst cities for individuals who have asthma. The city’s ranking has improved in recent years, but there’s still plenty of pollen swirling in the air no matter what time of year you visit. If you’ll be moving here for work and have allergies or are especially susceptible to pollen, make sure you stock up on medication. It’s also a good idea for you to find a reputable allergist who can treat you if/when things take a turn for the worse. If you are interested in seeing the entire list of cities that are the worst for allergies, you can do so on the following links — Fall Allergies & Spring Allergies Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Air Quality If you live in any of the cities or locations mentioned above, or just need some help with alleviating your allergy symptoms, there are many things you can do to improve your home’s air quality and keep your allergies under control. Some of the most effective appliances that can help you are: HEPA vacuums Air purifier with HEPA filters Dehumidifiers Steam cleaners Hypoallergenic bedding You should also check on the air quality before you head out so you know whether it’s safe for you to spend a lot of time outside or if you should remain behind closed doors for a majority of the day. Always make sure you have your allergy medication or inhaler close at hand in case of emergency. With a little information and preparation, it’s entirely possible for you to love your city and avoid suffering from allergies. Be sure to check allergy ratings as you’re checking on the cost of living and things to do in your new location.