Saturday, April 20, 2024

The 15 Worst Cities for Seasonal Allergies

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Woman with a cold
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Forbes Advisor.

Spring is a wonderful time of year, characterized by blooming flowers, singing birds and lots of sunlight.

But if you’re part of the 25% of U.S. adults with seasonal allergies, the warmer months may also come with itchy eyes, constant sneezing and a whole host of other uncomfortable symptoms.

In fact, according to a recent Forbes Health/OnePoll survey of 1,000 U.S. adults who have seasonal airborne allergies, 44% of people polled said their allergy symptoms were so bad, they’d consider moving to cope with their symptoms.

That number climbs to a staggering 74% for Generation Z, and the findings show allergy symptoms take an even greater toll on mental health for that generation, too.

The survey findings underscore the impact allergies can have on a person’s well-being — and the lengths many people are willing to go to reduce the severity of their symptoms.

The Forbes Health/OnePoll survey reveals that when it comes to treating allergies, people are spending a good chunk of money — and there are generational differences in the type of treatment, too. While 30% of those who deal with seasonal allergies overall spend from $26 to $50 a month on allergy remedies, Gen Z is more open to natural remedies. Fifty-four percent of Gen Z members are more likely to use natural remedies (the highest of any age group), as compared to 21% who prefer to use allergy medicine.

If you’re considering relocating to find relief from symptoms, Forbes Health compiled a ranking of the worst cities for seasonal allergies, based on factors including pollen counts for major allergens and air quality.

1. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque homes
turtix / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 1
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 1
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 1
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 1

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2. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 2
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 3
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 2
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 2

3. Glendale, Arizona

Glendale Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 3
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 3
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 2

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4. Arlington, Texas

Arlington, Texas
CK Foto / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 4
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 5

5. Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 4
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 5

6. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 6
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 2
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 11
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 4

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7. Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth Texas
Barbara Smyers / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 7
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 5

8. Plano, Texas

Plano Texas
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  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 8
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 5

9. Garland, Texas (tie)

Garland, Texas
EJ Rojas / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 9
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 5

10. Irving, Texas (tie)

Irving, Texas
Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 9
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 4
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 5

11. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana cityscape
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  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 11
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 11
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 15
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 12

12. Riverside, California

Riverside California neighborhood
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 12
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 12
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 10
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 11

13. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles neighborhood in San Fernando Valley
trekandshoot / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 13
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 14
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 12
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 13

14. Chula Vista, California

Chula Vista California Homes
bonandbon / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 14
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 15
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 13
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 15

15. San Diego, California

San Diego cityscape
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Allergy Severity Rank: 15
  • Tree Pollen Severity Rank: 15
  • Grass Pollen Severity Rank: 13
  • Ragweed Pollen Severity Rank: 15

Methodology

Woman looks at data on a computer
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To determine the severity of spring airborne allergies in various cities, Forbes Health collected data on five metrics for the 100 largest cities by population, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The metrics considered were the 15-day allergen severity forecast, the three-day tree pollen forecast, the three-day grass pollen forecast, the three-day ragweed pollen forecast and the air quality index for each city.

The 15-day forecast covered the period from April 11-25, 2023. The three-day forecasts covered April 11-13, 2023.

Forbes Health then weighted each metric to determine rankings for each allergen type, as well as overall rankings for the worst cities for spring airborne allergies.

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