Individual and Family

Where’s the Worst Place for Seasonal Allergies

Updated on December 18, 2019


As spring and summer approach so does allergy season.
Allergies are your immune system overreacting to an otherwise harmless substance like pollen or dander. Exposure to these allergens can cause anywhere from annoying to debilitating symptoms for allergy sufferers.
For those suffering from seasonal allergies, it may be helpful to know where your city stands in terms of the worst places in the U.S. for Allergies.
The worst places for allergies in the U.S.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the allergy capital of the U.S. in 2019 is McAllen, Texas.
This year’s report the listed McAllen, Texas as most challenging place to live with spring allergies in the country for a few reasons:

  • Above average pollen count
  • Above average allergy medication usage
  • Lower availability of board-certified allergists

Based on these 3 factors they named three other allergy capitals for the other regions of the U.S.

  • The Northeastern allergy capital is Providence, Rhode Island
  • The Midwestern allergy capital is Toledo, Ohio
  • The Western allergy capital is Fresno, California

The biggest culprits of seasonal allergies are tree and grass pollen, which become more common in the air spring and summer. As it becomes warmer more people are drawn to be outside, which may be difficult for allergy sufferers.
However, there are some things you can do to keep your allergy symptoms in check.
Here’s what to do to keep allergy symptoms at bay
If you suffer from season allergies, it is recommended by the AAFA that you limit your outdoor activities to prevent exposure to allergens in the air. Additionally, you should try to keep your windows open. This includes keeping your windows shut at night.
You also should make sure you wash your hair, change your clothes, and wipe off any outdoor pets after coming in from outside to limit your exposure to outdoor allergens while inside your home.
Make sure you wash your sheets at least once a week to rid them of pollen and allergens. You can also use a certified air cleaner – such as a blank – to keep your home pollen free.
Additionally, you can use over-the-counter antihistamines (such as Claritin or Benadryl) or corticosteroids (such as Flonase) to treat your symptoms.
If your allergies still bother you after taking these precautions and medications, you may want to see your doctor or an allergist.
How can I treat my seasonal allergy symptoms?
While avoiding allergen and over-the-counter medications are two options for treating your allergy symptoms, there are prescription strength allergy medications that an allergist can prescribe that may help with your symptoms.
According to the AAFA, there is a third option for treatment called Immunotherapy.
There are two types of immunotherapy that are available right now:

  • Allergy shots – These shots involve getting injected with increasing doses of allergens over time. The patient should slowly become less sensitive to the allergen. This treatment generally works well for those with allergies to pollen as well as pets and dust.
  • SLIT – is another way to treat allergies that do not involve injections. Patients receive small doses of allergies under the tongue. The patient should become less sensitive to the allergen and reduce their symptoms. This treatment is generally is effective for those who are allergic to grass and ragweed.

These treatments must be given under the supervision of an allergist.
If you have seasonal allergies it is important to have health insurance as the costs of visits to your allergists and prescription medications can add up otherwise.
The proper health insurance coverage may help you offset the costs of seeing an allergist. Some important things to consider while shopping for health insurance as an allergy sufferer are if your doctor or allergist is in-network, if your plan will cover drug costs, and if it covers the costs of the treatment of asthma and allergies.
eHealth can help you find a health insurance plan to help cover these medical expenses.

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