Allergies are terrible, and where you live might make things worse.
Depending on the native flora of your state, allergy season can genuinely bring you down during the spring. To make matters worse, thanks to climate change, more extended warmer seasons have made pollen worse every year.
Every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) releases a report of the best and worst cities for allergy sufferers in the United States. The AAFA looks at spring and fall pollen scores, over-the-counter medicine use and the number of board-certified allergists when determining the best cities for allergy sufferers. According to the organization, more than 25 million Americans suffer from seasonal pollen allergies.
The cities below have a good track record for not triggering allergies due to their pollen counts. While most of them encourage you to move west, number one may take you by surprise.
So pack your bags and Claritin — here are the 10 best cities for allergy sufferers.
Denver continues to keep its spot in the top 10 for best cities for allergies year over year. The city enjoys relatively low pollen counts every spring, but the weather can contribute to more allergies. Most of the summer, you'll see tree pollen mainly rise until about July, and if there are high winds, that could affect you as well.
A one-bedroom apartment in Denver will set you back $1,928 a month on average.
Nestled in San Joaquin Valley, Fresno takes a spot on our list, thanks to its low pollen counts. The area's agriculture industry and its many citrus and nut trees keep the tree pollen count low. For $1,119 a month, you can grab a lovely one-bedroom apartment in the area.
But don't think you're getting out of every sniffle. Unfortunately, the area sees high mold levels and poor air quality, so if those easily trigger you, be ready.
Head to the Pacific Northwest for some relief as Portland remains an allergy-friendly city. While you can still find grass and tree pollen in the area, it's not as oppressive as in other parts of the country.
You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,747 a month on average and enjoy the many hiking opportunities during the weekend.
Don't be afraid to pay a visit to the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory in Milwaukee this spring, as there will be no sniffles from you. As an allergy sufferer, you can enjoy the outdoors here and enjoy the conservatory without any hesitation.
The city's long winters and subsequent short summers keep the blooms to a minimum, helping your nose stay a little happier. You can move to a one-bedroom apartment here for $1,326 a month on average.
Tree and grass pollen rise to moderate levels in Stockton between April and May due to the area's low rainfall and warm weather. This all turbocharges the pollen around this area. However, the numbers remain doable, and most locals get by with over-the-counter medication.
This makes it one of the least challenging places in the U.S. at No. 95. A one-bedroom apartment averages $1,109 a month.
San Jose sees low levels of weed allergens like ragweed and pigweed plus low levels of mold in the fall near Silicon Valley. In January, you see an increase in tree pollen. However, pollen season is starting earlier and lasting longer than usual, so this may change in the future with climate change.
This area is infamous for its rent prices. You can find a one-bedroom apartment here for $2,690 a month on average.
The dry air and short growing season make Salt Lake City a paradise for allergy sufferers. The winter weather and short summers don't allow the pollen to get to unmanageable levels. You can enjoy a low pollen existence by grabbing a one-bedroom apartment for $1,233 a month on average.
Unfortunately, the city has one of the highest asthma rates in the country — 1 in 11 adults. Air pollution and high elevation are some of the factors for this.
The third-largest city in Utah, Provo provides an ideal environment for allergy sufferers with excellent air quality. Cottonwood and ragweed do increase in the spring but stays within manageable levels for residents. The area also has a large number of allergy specialists to stay on top of symptoms.
Rent a one-bedroom apartment in this Utah city for $938 a month on average.
Seattle has beautiful views and allergy-friendly weather, taking the No. 2 spot here. Ragweed pollen remains low for the Emerald City during the spring, plus the rain, allows its residents to enjoy the outdoors with only a few sniffles.
Now for the bad news: the city has become exponentially more expensive year-over-year. You can find a one-bedroom for $2,214 a month per average.
East coast city Durham takes the top spot for the most allergy-friendly city in the U.S. again this year. While the South gets covered by a blanket of yellow dust every spring, Durham remains one of the best cities for allergies.
Thanks to frequent rain in the spring and many trained allergists in the Research Triangle, allergy sufferers stay happy.
Thinking of making a move and sneeze a little less? Grab a one-bedroom apartment for $1,372 a month on average in the city.
The report from AAFA takes three things into consideration for each city: pollen count, amount of allergy medication prescribed and the number of allergists in the area. The top 10 all have pretty low pollen counts, but the other factors are important.
Outside of just counting pollen, the best places seem to offer some combination of being near the coast and having long cold seasons, meaning there's less time for pollen growth.
If you want to know how your city stacks up, check the full report.
Well, it's up to you what to do. Most people probably don't have bad enough allergies to make them move, but this can be a factor next time the opportunity comes up.
Until then, having an idea of how bad your city is for allergies can help you to take care of yourself right now. Keep track of current pollen levels on websites like Pollen.com, and take precautions to keep your exposure to pollen relatively low.
Don't forget to check with your doctor and get their recommendation for medication and treatments for your allergies. If you have pets, make sure to clean thoroughly to avoid dander being too much of an issue.
Changing to greener cleaning supplies can also make a big difference in keeping your apartment free from too many allergens building up.
There's nothing more miserable than sneezing non-stop without relief during the spring months. While the vibrant flowers and singing birds mark the end of winter, itchy eyes due to allergies can truly ruin the joy.
We've rounded up the best tips to survive allergy season and keep your apartment as a sanctuary.
While we count the minutes until warm weather, spring brings blooms and, with it, pollen. It's challenging to get rid of allergies. Yes, even if you live in one of the best cities for allergy sufferers.
If you stay on top of your doctor-recommended meds and follow these cleaning tips, you should be able to use a little less tissue and enjoy the outdoors a little more.