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AAFA Identifies Top 100 Most Challenging Cities to Live in for Spring Allergies

As many in the U.S. put away their winter coats, they pull out the allergy medicines. The onslaught of pollen that comes each spring affects millions of Americans with seasonal allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released the 2018 Spring Allergy Capitals™ report that ranks the top 100 cities in the nation for spring allergies. AAFA calculates the rankings based on:

  • Pollen counts
  • Use of allergy medicines
  • Availability of board-certified allergists

McAllen, Texas, is at the top of the list for 2018. High pollen, high allergy medicine use and a lower number of allergy specialists made it the #1 spring allergy capital.

The top 10 most challenging places to live with spring allergies in 2018 are:

  1. McAllen, Texas
  2. Louisville, Kentucky
  3. Jackson, Mississippi
  4. Memphis, Tennessee
  5. San Antonio, Texas
  6. Providence, Rhode Island
  7. Dayton, Ohio
  8. Syracuse, New York
  9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  10. Knoxville, Tennessee

“Our Spring Allergy Capitals report is a valuable tool to help identify cities where seasonal allergy symptoms can create challenges,” says Kenneth Mendez, President and CEO of AAFA. “This report helps people in these areas be more aware of what may contribute to their allergy symptoms so they can work with their health care providers to get relief. With the right treatment plan, seasonal allergies can be managed for better quality of life.”

Tree pollen is highest in the spring. It can even start as early as January or February in parts of the country. Grass pollen also starts to appear later in the season. Symptoms can include sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Those with allergic asthma might also have asthma flare-ups.

Longer, stronger pollen seasons and climate change also make seasonal allergies worse. The report highlights gaps in the country where climate and air pollution policies can be created and improved to support better allergy and asthma outcomes. It also shows where more specialized health care providers are needed so people have access to proper care.

Can I Get Allergy Relief If I Live in One of the Top Cities?

Yes! No matter where you live, you have options for allergy treatment. To find out what allergens are causing your symptoms, see a board-certified allergist. They can help you come up with a plan to help you find relief.

“Follow AAFA’s Spring Allergy Capitals report to prevent a pollen knockout,” says Clifford W. Bassett, M.D., FACAAI, FAAAAI, the Founder and Medical Director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York and medical spokesperson for AAFA. “Fight back. The Spring Allergy Capitals Report can provide awareness and emphasize the importance of seeing an allergist this season, especially if you live in one of the high pollen zones. I have found that many of my patients who follow the annual AAFA Spring Allergy Capitals list have better awareness of those areas that are likely to be associated with seasonal pollen misery, and thus, are better able to utilize a proactive allergy action plan for optimizing their own care.”

4 Tips for Allergy Relief:

  • Relieve symptoms by limiting your exposure to pollen.
  • CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products can help reduce your exposure to allergens.
  • Long-term allergy treatments can help you.
  • Plan for spring allergy season before it starts, especially if you live in one of the top cities.

Go to for more info about how your city ranks and to find tips and tricks for getting through the season.

How Can I Learn More About the Report?

The Spring Allergy Capitals™ ranking is an annual research and educational project of AAFA. It is designed to help patients recognize, prevent and safely treat allergy symptoms. Through this ranking, AAFA raises awareness about the impact of seasonal allergies. It provides helpful information that can improve the quality of life for people living with seasonal allergies. The ranking is based on local pollen levels, use of allergy medicine and the number of board-certified allergists in each metro area. Visit to see the full list, study methodology and to learn more about allergy diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

Are you dealing with spring allergy symptoms? Join our community to chat with others who manage pollen allergies. And follow our blog for more news and tips on taming your nasal allergy symptoms.


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