The best place for a person with seasonal allergies to live will depend on their allergy. For example, a person with spring allergies may be allergic to grass pollen, meaning areas with less grass may produce fewer symptoms.
However, this is not the only consideration. Although a place with a hot, dry climate may have less grass, warmer temperatures can lead to longer pollen allergy seasons since the heat encourages plants to continue pollinating. Other factors, such as wind and rainfall, can also influence how far allergens travel through the air.
In this article, we will discuss the best and worst places for people to live in the United States if they have certain seasonal allergies, including spring and fall allergies.
No single place in the U.S. will work for everyone with seasonal allergies. This is because seasonal allergies affect people at different times of the year.
People with spring allergies typically have pollen allergies. They could be allergic to pollen from trees, grass, or weeds. In many places in the U.S., tree pollen season begins first, around February. Grass and weed pollen then follow in late spring and summer, respectively.
People with fall allergies may be allergic to late-pollinating weeds, mold spores, or dust mites. Mold thrives in fallen vegetation, particularly if the weather is humid or wet. Dust mites also prefer
In addition to the seasons, the weather influences the impact of allergens. For instance, while rain washes pollen away, pollen counts can soar after rainfall. In places without much wind, airborne allergens tend to stay grounded, while in windy areas they can travel long distances.
Knowing the triggers for seasonal allergies and the factors that influence a person’s exposure to them may help with determining places to live that minimize allergen exposure to an extent.
In many places in the U.S., tree pollination begins in early spring or sometimes earlier if the winter was mild. In the south, tree pollen season can begin much earlier, in January or December.
Warm, windy places with many allergy-causing trees may be among the worst places to live for people with this allergy. Northern climates with shorter tree pollen seasons or desert environments with few trees may be better.
According to a 2023 report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), Dallas had the highest tree pollen levels in 2022. The researchers detected tree pollen as early as December 2021, and levels peaked in March and April 2022.
Conversely, Dayton, OH, had the lowest tree pollen levels that year, with the first detection in February and a peak in May.
Grass pollination tends to begin in late spring in most parts of the U.S. However, grass may pollinate in tropical climates for much of the year.
As with tree pollen, grass pollen levels are often highest in warm, windy climates. Grassland and prairie environments may have the highest amounts. For example, according to the AAFA report, grass pollen levels in Wichita, KS, peaked in February 2022 and stayed “high” or “very high” until June.
Colder places have shorter grass pollen seasons. In Seattle, levels were highest in March and April before decreasing drastically. They then peaked again around July.
Ragweed is a common cause of weed pollen allergies in the U.S. It tends to begin pollinating in late summer, coming into bloom and releasing its pollen between August and November. Ragweed pollen levels tend to be highest between early and mid-September.
Ragweed grows wild almost everywhere in the U.S. However, it is particularly common on the east coast and the Midwest. The AAFA report compared ragweed pollen levels across 100 cities and found that Atlanta had the most days of “very high” levels, while San Diego had the least. Alaska is the only state in the U.S. that does not have any ragweed at all.
Other plants that can trigger weed pollen allergies include:
- Russian thistle
- burning bush
- lamb’s quarters
Mold allergies typically affect people from July to fall. If spring is particularly rainy, this can increase mold levels in the environment. In fall, tree leaves also begin to fall and rot on the ground, allowing mold to thrive.
Hot and humid climates can encourage mold growth for much of the year. For this reason, states such as Florida, Louisiana, and Texas may be challenging places to live for people with seasonal mold allergies.
Because cold temperatures make mold inactive, places that are relatively cold and dry may be better options.
Dust mites are organisms that can live in household dust and soft furnishings, such as bedding. People who are allergic to dust are often allergic to dust mite droppings. Other potentially problematic components of household dust can include pollen, mold, cockroach particles, and animal dander.
Dust allergies affect people all year round. However, because dust mites do not drink water, they need humid environments to absorb moisture from the air. They
People can also take certain steps to reduce humidity levels in their homes, such as:
- using a dehumidifier to bring levels below 50%
- ensuring there is adequate ventilation, especially in bedrooms
- regularly dusting and vacuuming
- using a vacuum with a high efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter
- hot-washing bedding once per week
Before disturbing dust, people with dust allergies may want to take allergy medication or wear a filter mask with at least a
There are many factors that affect a person’s decision about where they should live. For people with seasonal allergies, climate and allergen exposure may be among them. However, there are also other aspects of having an allergy to bear in mind. For example, people may want to live close to an allergy specialist or places where they can buy allergy medication.
There are also allergy triggers that are not exclusively seasonal but may be more prevalent at certain times of the year due to human activity. Some examples include smoke from campfires, pine needles from Christmas trees, and chlorine in swimming pools. Modifying behavior could help with managing symptoms related to these triggers.
If a person is unsure of their triggers, it may be beneficial to seek allergy testing from a doctor, especially before deciding to relocate.
The best places to live with seasonal allergies can depend on the allergy and other factors, such as climate, weather, and proximity to treatment sources.
It may be hard for people with some allergies to avoid triggers. For example, Alaska is the only place in the U.S. with no ragweed.
Location changes, combined with changes in habits and taking medications, may help with managing allergy symptoms. However, this depends on a person’s unique situation. People can get tailored advice on symptom management from an allergist.