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Respiray Top 20 USA Allergy Capitals 2024

aafa reveals the usa’s seasonal pollen allergy capitals 2024

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has recently unveiled its latest Allergy Capitals report ranking the worst cities in the US for people with seasonal pollen allergies (also known as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis). A not-for-profit organization, the AAFA is the world’s oldest asthma and allergy patient group and leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies. 

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America identifies 20 most difficult US cities for seasonal pollen allergies.

The AAFA’s report, which has been published annually for more than 20 years, studies data from the 100 most-populated metropolitan areas in the country, drawing its conclusions based on several factors including pollen scores for different types of pollen, the level of over-the-counter allergy medicine used and the availability of certified allergy professionals in the areas investigated. 

What were the worst US cities for seasonal pollen allergies in 2023? 

In 2023, the AAFA ranked Wichita, Kansas as 2023’s top Allergy Capital thanks to its high pollen counts for tree and grass pollens as well as its above-average allergy medicine use and relative lack of board-certified allergists and immunologists. The other two cities in the top three were Dallas, Texas and Scranton, Pennsylvania, with a number of cities in Oklahoma and Florida also appearing in the top 10. Strikingly, in the report’s map of the 20 most challenging places to live with seasonal pollen allergies in 2023, all 20 were in the eastern half of the USA geographically. 

AAFA Top 20 USA Allergy Capitals with highest Seasonal Pollen Allergies
Top 20 US cities for seasonal pollen allergies in 2024  

Which city is 2024’s Allergy Capital? 

For the second consecutive year, the dubious honor of AAFA’s Allergy Capital 2024 goes to Wichita, Kansas – with Virginia Beach, Virginia and Greenville, South Carolina following closely in second and third positions respectively. However, the AAFA also points out that Scranton, Pennsylvania, which was 2022’s allergy capital and came third in last year’s rankings, would actually have been second on the list this year – but it is not in the report due to no longer being one of the country’s 100 most-populated metropolitan areas. This year, it is replaced in the list by Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

As in in 2023, the top 20 cities are all on the USA’s eastern side, although Florida features much less heavily in this year’s top 20 list. It’s also noteworthy that the scores both at the top and the bottom of the list of 100 cities are higher (therefore worse for hay fever overall) than in 2023’s report

Here is the full top 20 list of the worst American cities to live in for seasonal pollen allergies in 2024: 

Position City Score /100 (average 75.49) 
Wichita, Kansas 100 
Virginia Beach, Virginia 87.43 
Greenville, South Carolina 87.34 
Dallas, Texas 87.21 
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 86.83 
Tulsa, Oklahoma 86.35 
Richmond, Virginia 84.20 
Des Moines, Iowa 84.15 
Raleigh, North Carolina 84.03 
10 Fayetteville, Arkansas 82.93 
11 Allentown, Pennsylvania 82.83 
12 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 82.66 
13 Sarasota, Florida 82.34 
14 Houston, Texas 81.93 
15 Columbia, South Carolina 81.91 
16 Orlando, Florida 81.07 
17 Little Rock, Arkansas 81.02 
18 Chattanooga, Tennessee 80.86 
19 Greensboro, North Carolina 80.62 
20 Kansas City, Missouri 80.41 

Where are the best places to live with seasonal pollen allergies in 2024? 

Of the 100 cities studied, the three least challenging US cities to live in with seasonal pollen allergies in 2024 are Akron, Ohio, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Madison, Wisconsin. Here are the 20 places with the lowest Allergy Capital scores – indicating they are the best places to live with seasonal pollen allergies: 

Position City Score /100 (average 75.49) 
100 Akron, Ohio 60.18 
99 Albuquerque, New Mexico 60.49 
98 Madison, Wisconsin 62.66 
97 San Jose, California 62.76 
96 Cleveland, Ohio 64.42 
95 Phoenix, Arizona 64.52 
94 Sacramento, California 65.14 
93 Stockton, California 66.03 
92 Tucson, Arizona 66.95 
91 Bakersfield, California 67.26 
90 Columbus, Ohio 67.34 
89 Washington, DC 67.37 
88 Seattle, Washington 67.47 
87 New York, New York 67.75 
86 Salt Lake City, Utah 68.35 
85 Los Angeles, California 68.46 
84 Provo, Utah 68.87 
83 Atlanta, Georgia 69.08 
82 Louisville, Kentucky 69.45 
81 San Francisco, California 69.48 

What else does the aafa’s allergy capitals report tell us? 

In addition to the city rankings, the Allergy Capitals report also gives information about current topics that are relevant for people with seasonal pollen allergies. This year’s report delves into the symptoms of hay fever (allergic rhinitis), such as a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and an itchy face, and of allergic asthma, which include shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness and wheezing. It also differentiates between the three different types of pollen (tree, grass and weed pollen), discusses climate change and pollen counting, including pollen sensing technology and the differences between forecasts and counts, and introduces the concept of botanical sexism – a phenomenon where people increasingly prefer to plant wind-pollinating trees rather than fruiting ones for practical reasons, which leads to more pollen being present in the air. 

Does the report give advice on managing seasonal pollen allergies? 

The AAFA’s Allergy Capitals 2024 report contains a section on managing your contact with pollen –especially helpful for those in the worst areas for hay fever – giving tips and tricks including washing and changing clothes and other items that can have pollen on them, keeping windows and doors closed and covering up while outdoors on high-pollen days. Doing this successfully requires advance planning, which means using a reliable pollen count service. One such service is pollen.com, an online portal that gives detailed pollen reports and forecasts for every part of the country alongside handy advice and services for people struggling with seasonal allergic rhinitis. 

Seasonal Pollen Allergy Relief Respiray Wear A+
Effective, drug-free wearable hay fever relief – Respiray Wear A+  

Another way to reduce your contact with pollen is using Respiray Wear A+, a wearable air purifier that fits comfortably around the neck and removes pollen, and other airborne allergens and pollutants, from the air. If you’re not breathing in any allergens you can’t have an allergic reaction, and Wear A+ uses a powerful HEPA filter to eliminate 99.9% of all allergen particles including pollen, directing a pocket of clean air towards the user’s nose and mouth to ensure that only clean air enters the airways. Wear A+ has been tested and certified by several organizations including SGS North America Inc and the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF), which found that it can be recommended medically as an alternative to allergy medications like antihistamines. 

If you’d like to view the findings in more detail, including which cities placed between 21st and 80th in the rankings, you can download the full Allergy Capitals 2024 report from the American Allergy and Asthma Foundation’s website.

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