While we can’t wait for spring that means the pollen is coming. That’s right North Carolina if you suffer from allergies it’s time to prepare. Each year the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA) releases its list of “Allergy Capitals”. The organization looks at the 100 most populous cities in the United States and ranks them from 1-100 essentially from the worst to the best place to live with allergies.
Factors considered in the rankings:
- Spring pollen scores
- Fall pollen scores
- Over-the-counter medicine use
- Availability of board-certified allergists/immunologists
The good news for the Carolinas is that one city came in 2nd to last on the rankings, making it one of the best places to live if you have allergies. South Carolina cities came in noticibly higher than those in NC. Which does come as a slight surprise to me considering the thick layer of yellow pollen we get every year. But just goes to show you it can always be worse! Unless you live in Scranton, PA that is. According to these rankings no one has a worse time with allergies than them.
The AAFA offers some helpful tips on their website to help you deal with that pesky pollen:
- Check pollen counts or forecasts daily and plan outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are expected to be lower.
- Keep windows closed during pollen season or peak pollen times.
- Use central air conditioning or air cleaners with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter and/or HEPA filtration to reduce indoor airborne allergens (including pollen that may enter your home through doors, windows, on your clothes, and on pets).
- Wear sunglasses, a mask, and a hat or other hair covering when outdoors.
- Take a shower and wash your hair before going to bed (if your hair was uncovered outside).
- Change and wash clothes after outdoor activities.
- Dry laundry in a clothes dryer or on an indoor rack, not on an outdoor line.
- Limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors. Wipe pets off with a towel before they enter your home.
- Remove your shoes before entering your home.
- Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
Here’s the 10 best and worst places to live with allergies as well as where all the North Carolina cities ranked for allergies: