Most dirty words have four letters, but at least one has six – pollen. These seed plant microspores Mostly appear in spring and fall as fine dust, causing allergic reactions known as ‘hay fever’, with symptoms such as stuffy/runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat and congestion.
A person’s pollen allergies can vary by type (ragweed, grass, pine) and severity, from mild to heavy and everything in between. In short, even if you escape one type of pollen allergy, there’s a good chance there’s another one waiting for you.
Certain factors affect the severity of a region’s pollen density, such as the type of plants native to the region, as well as the length of the growing season. The directory Allergy Capitals™ Report by The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) provides advice for allergy sufferers on the best and worst places to live in relation to pollen. While some of the worst places to live for allergy sufferers in the fall won’t surprise anyone who lives there (Scranton, PA, and Wichita, KS, still top the list), the best cities for allergies offer something to think about. .
One of the factors that make a city difficult for allergy sufferers is the growing season. Areas where more plants grow for longer periods of time are likely more difficult for the population with nasal problems. That’s why Denver is a great place for people with pollen problems! The city one high altitude keeps pollen levels fairly low when they’re around, and it has a shorter growing season than many other areas, so even those affected don’t have to worry about it for very long.
Stockton, in the San Joaquin Valley, is just the first of several California cities on the list. Although Stockton is inland, it still benefits from California’s coastal climate, which helps keep pollen levels low during the fall months, especially. The Northern California city is also close to a number of major cities, giving residents easy access to allergy specialists, as well as medication, some of the main factors in the survey. .
Provo’s pollen count is generally lower than many other cities, which is why this Salt Lake City suburb consistently makes it to the list of best cities for allergy sufferers. In particular, Provo enjoys excellent air quality, low humidity, a cooler climate and a high altitude location, making it ideal for people with asthma and asthma. allergies.
Although pollen is not non-existent, the area has plenty of access to medications and specialists, making the fall allergy season very manageable.
Our nation’s capital has a pretty severe spring allergy season, with all those cherry blossoms, but fall isn’t quite as tough. Although ragweed pollen is still found in the Washington, DC area, it’s not as prevalent as it is further south because it just isn’t as humid. Luckily, there’s also an allergist and/or pharmacy on almost every corner of this great metropolitan area, so it’s fairly easy to seek help if the need arises.
In general, the Pacific Northwest experiences deliciously cool fall seasons, bringing pollen counts down to equally delicious levels. It is undoubtedly a huge relief for people who suffer from the experience of long grass pollen in the spring. In particular, Portland’s mountainous terrain prevents pollen from spreading freely, which is another reason why the fall months are less taxing than in many other parts of the country.
Not so far from the previously mentioned town of Stockton is the technology hub of San Jose. While teeming with opportunity, this Northern California city enjoys low levels of ragweed and other pollen levels during the fall months (although spring is a bit of a beast). Again, this pleasantly cooler climate and the fact that San Jose sits between two mountain ranges play a big role in mitigating the fall allergy season.
A few hours northeast of San Jose is the state capital, Sacramento, which, like other cities in the Golden State, gets hit pretty hard during spring allergy season. However, the hot summers quickly give way to mild autumn months, which literally leave the pollen in the dust. Therefore, ragweed and other fall pollens are only likely to impact the most sensitive allergy sufferers, as they are at lower levels than the rest of the country.
The only city on this list in the south, Durham has plenty of rain showers which are essential to keep pollen from building up and flying around. Indeed, Durham receives about 46 inches of rain each year, which is significantly more than the national average 38 inches. It also doesn’t hurt that Durham’s status as one-third of the famous ‘research triangle’ cities makes it a hub for all things medical. As a result, there are many allergists and related experts to consult when needed.
Back on the West Coast, the city of San Francisco is the second-best city in the country for fall allergy sufferers. In fact, many San Francisco residents can go without allergy medication during the fall months! Like the other Northern California towns on this list, San Fran residents deal with sniffles and sneezes during the grassy spring months, but by summer’s end they’re almost always completely gone. Coupled with the fact that dust mites are less common in San Francisco, this makes Golden Gate City ideal for susceptible populations.
Seattle regularly finds itself at or near the top of allergy-related positive lists, and for good reason. Its mountainous terrain and cool temperatures, coupled with low humidity and above-average rainfall, make for the perfect kind of storm to keep fall allergies from spiraling out of control. Even spring isn’t too offensive in Emerald City, as pollen levels are lower than almost anywhere else in the country. Too bad the city’s notorious rental prices can’t say the same, but we’ll take our wins wherever we can get them, won’t we?
How to limit the impact of pollen
Very few places in the world have no pollen. Typically, they are so hot that their plants always stay in bloom, or they have very little vegetation to speak of. Or, they are extremely cold all year round. If living in an extreme climate doesn’t seem feasible, take simpler steps to mitigate the impact of pollen on your life. It’s pretty easy to beat seasonal allergies if you know what you’re doing!
Keep an eye on pollen counts in spring and fall and plan accordingly. Many people experience relief using an over-the-counter antihistamine (such as Zyrtec, Claritin, or Allegra) or a corticosteroid nasal spray, such as Nasacort or Flonase. Some people also turn to using nasal decongestants or even allergy shots when things really get out of hand.
Do not expose yourself to allergens
People with known allergies can limit their risk by taking a few steps to avoid overexposure.
- Wear a mask when doing garden work, such as mowing the lawn or maintaining the garden
- Remove clothing worn outside and wash immediately upon entering
- Take a shower before bed to remove pollen from hair and skin
- Don’t spend time outdoors if it’s very windy and dry
The ideal time to go out is immediately after the rain, because all the pollen has been temporarily washed away.
Protect your interior space
Inside is the sanctuary for allergy sufferers, so don’t let your home be polluted by outdoor allergens! Follow these steps to keep your home pollen-free, especially the bedroom, where you spend most of your time.
- Keep the windows and doors of the house and the car closed. Use air conditioning instead
- The early morning hours are when the pollen count is at its peak, so don’t exercise outside during this time. Completely avoid outdoor exercise on days with high pollen counts.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter regularly to keep floors clean
- Install a HEPA filter in your bedroom to reduce allergens where you sleep
- Do not wear clothes to sleep if they have been outside. This will only transfer the pollen to the litter.
While it sounds like a good idea to open the windows and “air out the house,” it’s probably not the smartest decision for allergy sufferers.
Fall allergies are annoying but manageable
If the AAFA report has taught us anything, it’s that the world is increasingly aware of ways to prevent allergy problems. Whether or not you live in one of these best cities for allergies, there are resources everywhere to make fall allergy season manageable, even enjoyable.