The 10 Worst Cities for Allergies and an App and Website That Can Help

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If you live in the following top 10 cities listed below, there's a good chance you're battling the signs of seasonal allergies now that plants are awakening from their winter slumber and have begun flowering, unleashing their springtime pollen...ACHOO!

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, these are the 2013 top 10 worst cities for spring allergies in the nation (by order of severity):

  • Jackson, Mississippi,¬†
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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I discovered AllergyCapitals.com while looking online for a good app to keep on my iPhone, since even here in sunny SoCal, chaparral grasses and pollen brought in by the Santa Ana winds can bring upon headaches and swollen eyes. The site allows users to search by regions or by "all" (my hometown of Los Angeles ranked 77th overall with a score a little over half that of chart topping Jackson, Mississippi). The complete rankings are available here if you're curious where your city rates on the list.

As an avid hiker and the partner of an allergy sufferer, the first thing I do after scouting out hiking destinations and the weather is to check the pollen count of possible hiking spots so I don't lead Emily into a headache and sneeze-inducing locale.

I settled on installing WebMD's Allergy app, since it gives a good indicator of what allergy conditions are like outside, measuring mold, ragweed, grass, and tree related irritants, alongside the ability to track multiple locations and users. It's also free (ad-supported, of course), which I'm certainly not allergic to.


(Images: Gregory Han; AllergyCapitals.com; WebMD)

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