The Top 10 Allergy-Prone Cities In The US

Top Allergy-Prone Cities In The USIf you think that all the wheezing, coughing and watery-eyed symptoms that you are experiencing is entirely due to your being ‘genetically prone to allergies’, think again. The culprit might be the city where you are living.

So what is it about a particular place which makes it more allergy-prone than others? Basically, it is factors like high pollen content, mold counts and the level of pollution which triggers the allergy attack in an individual.

The ABC’s of Allergies: What You Need to Know about Allergy Attacks?

Before letting you know about the top allergy-prone cities in the United States, let us first take at the basic facts about allergies. First, why do you get them?  Experts believe that allergies tend to be inherited from one’s parents.

As your body gets exposed to allergens, its defense gets weakened which in turn triggers an allergic reaction. These allergens can intrude on your body through your nose, mouth and lungs.

Second, what exactly are the elements which are considered to be allergens? This includes:

  • Airborne grass, tree, weed, pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Mold spores
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander

Remember that even if you are born with allergic tendencies, you are not automatically prone to having an allergic reaction. As in the case of pet dander, it may take several years for you to be sensitive to a specific allergen.

Aside from inheriting allergic-prone genes from your parents, your allergic reaction will also get triggered if you are usually around pesky allergens, and when your body comes in contact with allergens your immune system tells you to stay away from.

Finally, what are the symptoms of an allergic reaction? Sneezing, having a stuffed nose, coughing, itchy throat, watery eyes, and having dark circles under the eyes from sinus pressure are just some of the symptoms that you should watch out for.

A Look at the Top 10 Allergy-Prone Cities in the United States
As mentioned earlier, your allergic reactions will definitely get triggered if you live in a place where allergens are usually around. So which places in the United States are considered to be the most allergy-prone cities? Take a look at the following list:

1.  City: Lexington, Kentucky

Worst Season:  Spring
Top Allergens: Pollens


According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America or AAFA, Lexington has a worse than average pollen score at 100. It means that there’s a daily average of 300 grains per cubic meter of pollen which pollutes the air on a daily basis if you live in this city. [Pollen allergy]

Kentucky also has a worse than average medicine utilization factor, as well as board certified allergists per patient. From a rank of 52 in 2007, the ranking of Lexington as the allergy capital of the nation is ranked by the AAFA has jumped to number one in 2008.

2.  City: Little Rock, Arkansas

Worst Season: Fall
Top Allergens: Weeds, pollen, mold spores

little rock

Last year, the AAFA ranked Little Rock, Arkansas to be the 9th most allergy-prone city in the country.  What makes the city of Little Rock especially prone to triggering allergies in people is the weeds pollen.

However, the main culprit seems to be its mold level, which is higher than average as compared to other cities.

Molds actually grow on rotting logs, grasses and compost piles – but the worse thing is that they spread when their spores become airborne. [Mold allergy symptoms]

3.  City: Greensboro, North Carolina

Worst Season: Fall
Top Allergens: Grass, tree and weed pollens


According to the AAFA, the city of Greensboro in North Carolina is the most miserable city for fall allergies. As the name of the city implies, there are a lot of ‘greens’ that you need to deal with if you live in Greensboro, North Carolina and all that lush color will trigger allergy attacks.

Watch out for ragweed, weed, and grass pollens during the fall. This is especially an allergic-reaction trigger because the city has more than 170 parks which produce enough ragweed – enough to make the typical allergy-sufferer miserable.

4.  City: Greenville, South Carolina

Worst Season: Fall
Top Allergens: Grass, tree and weed pollens


Much like Greensboro, Greensville in South Carolina is not as good a city to live in for those who are prone to allergy attacks. Fall is the worst season of all because the city is a lush landscape of greenery at this time of the year.

The things which make the city a haven for nature lovers may just be the bane of allergy-sufferers, especially those who are dealing with asthma attacks as a kid.

5.  City: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Worst Season: Spring
Top Allergens: Weeds or weed pollens

north carolina

Based from the AAFA data, the city of Raleigh-Durham has an average pollen count – which makes it easy to conclude that there is one other culprit which serves as the city’s worst allergen: weeds.

Raleigh-Durham has plenty of weak leaf, yellow nut sedge and yellow Indian grass which grow abundantly – so when spring season comes, you need to take into account this fact if you would not like to suffer from allergy attacks.

6.  City: Jackson, Mississippi

Worst Season: Fall
Top Allergens: Grass, weed


If you have allergic reactions to grass, weed and pollen, remember that they usually circulate at around 10 in the morning to 12 noon.  Experts recommend staying indoors during these hours to minimize your allergic reaction – no matter where you live.

However, if you are from Jackson, Mississippi – this is actually not a haven for allergy-sufferers, especially those who have a bad reaction to Bermuda Grass and ragweed.

The city is rich in these two allergens. So if you are suffering from allergic reactions, the best way to counteract this is by staying away from the outdoors during the time of the day when such allergens are airborne.

7.  City: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Worst Season: Fall
Top Allergens: Weed or weed pollens


Yet another city which is not really a good place to be during the fall season is Grand Rapids in Michigan. Ragweed, plantains and nettle are the worst allergens – especially during the autumn season.

If you would like to fight off a possible allergic reaction and you really need to be outdoors, make sure to take a quick shower and change your clothes after enjoying a day outdoors.

8.  City: Knoxville, Tennessee

Worst Season: Spring
Top Allergens: Mold spores, weeds and grass pollens


Knoxville, Tennessee was ranked as the 6th worst city to be for those who are prone to allergies – especially during the spring season [Spring allergies]. Despite having an average pollen count, they do have a worse than average medicine utilization for allergens.

What makes Knoxville a particularly bad city to live in for those who are suffering from allergic reactions is the presence of garden sorrel and a grass called redtop.

9.  City: Wichita, Kansas

Worst Season: Fall
Top Allergens: Mold spores, weed or weed pollens


You may want to say that you’re not in Kansas anymore if you live in the city of Wichita and you have allergic reactions. Ragweed and chenopods are the culprit elements and during the fall, weeds and molds provide plenty of airborne allergens for an allergic-prone Kansas resident to be particularly unhappy.

10.  City: Madison, Wisconsin

Worst Season: Fall
Top Allergens: Weeds or weed pollens


There are plenty of allergens to travel around when you live in Madison, Wisconsin.  Amaranth, pigweed, tumbleweed and the occasional mold are the items which trigger allergic reactions to individuals.

If you live in these allergy-prone cities and you don’t see yourself moving in the near future, then you should always consult your doctor about how you can stay away from allergens when walking outdoors so that you can enjoy either the fall or the spring season without having to cough, sneeze or wheeze your way through it.

More Resources:
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