How Allergic is Your City?

By staff

A hundred years ago or so, doctors used to send people with health issues to the shore to heal them. Perhaps they sent those with allergies and the fresh sea air helped clear them while they were away from whatever made them feel bad. Maybe they sent those with asthma to breath in the clean air from the coast to feel open and refreshed. Would doctors today send someone to your hometown? Or would they send them away from it? Recently the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released the data on their annual study on the top allergy and asthma capitals in the country. Let’s see what they found out…

The AAFA ranked the top 100 most challenging cities to live in for those with asthma, and the top 100 most challenging cities to live in for those with allergies. You can see if your city falls into these categories and where on the complete lists at and Oh look, my city is right at the top!

The top 10 asthma capitals are:
1.Atlanta, GA
2. Philadelphia, PA
3. Raleigh, NC
4. Knoxville, TN
5. Harrisburg, PA
6. Grand Rapids, MI
7. Milwaukee, WI
8. Greensboro, NC
9. Scranton, PA
10. Little Rock, AR

Each year the AAFA ranks cities for high incidence of asthma based on specific criteria including

1) Prevalence Factors (morbidity and mortality statistics, 2) Risk Factors (air quality, pollen, smoking laws, poverty and more, and 3) Medical Factors (medication usage and access to specialists).

As the goal of the study is awareness and advocacy, their motto is “Don’t Move – Improve.” Every city has some sort of risk factors, but these factors can be improved with awareness. Once they are improved, it is hoped that the asthma rates will decrease.

The top 10 allergy capitals are:
1. Austin, TX
2. San Antonio, TX
3. Oklahoma City, OK
4. Lakeland, FL
5. Orlando, FL
6. St Louis, MO
7. Tucson, AZ
8. El Paso, TX
9. Mcallen, TX
10. Tulsa, OK

Information is taken on three categories and the cities are ranked accordingly. The criteria is compiled from data consisting of

1) pollen scores, including airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores, 2) Number of allergy meds used per patient, and 3) Number of allergy specialists per patient.

Take a look; see where your city ranks. This is one of those lists where #1 just isn’t the most desired spot.

– Heather Legg



I live in Salem, Oregon and I seem to be allergic to everything the last two years.Since October 29 I have been sick three times with the allergies in bewteen and on top of these respiratory infections.My sinus drainage, coughing, and chest congestion are an every day ordeal.I produce way too much mucus. I can’t function in life anymore. Would moving to a newer apartment help at all? The one I live in is old, drafty, and has ancient carpet. Thanks for your advice!

January 13th, 2011 | 4:59 pm

I live in New Braunfels, TX. I have the worst allergies of my life living here.

January 16th, 2011 | 2:26 pm

I live In New Orleans and have horrible allergies year round

March 2nd, 2011 | 11:39 pm

I live in central Oklahoma…I’m miserable every spring (about now), Summer (ragweed season) and Fall. Itchy ears, red swollen itchy throat and eyes. Warm, humid and windy makes for a very bad combination with someone who has a grass/tree allergy.

March 15th, 2011 | 11:20 am


April 1st, 2011 | 8:41 pm
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