The Best Cities to Live with Seasonal Allergies in 2022

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The Best Cities to Live with Seasonal Allergies in 2022

Teresa Bergen · Apr 14, 2022

It’s springtime! Daffodils are blooming, trees are leafing out, and Kleenex sales are through the roof. Yes, if you’re one of the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, a runny nose, and red, watery eyes, it might put a damper on your springtime joy.

If you have really bad allergies, you might want to consider moving to a place where you’ll be less affected. But how do you know where to go? Fortunately, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America regularly researches conditions in different cities. We looked at their top 100 allergy capitals for 2022 to determine your best and worst choices. The AAFA’s report considered spring and fall pollen scores, over-the-counter medicine use, and the availability of board-certified allergists/immunologists in its rankings.

Keep in mind that different people are allergic to different things. Before you pack up your apartment for greener pastures, check with your doctor to make sure you know exactly what you’re allergic to. Then find that new apartment.

Seattle, Washington

Since the AAFA list goes from one to 100 with one being worst for allergies, we’re starting with the city that came in 100th: Seattle, Washington. You’ve probably heard that Seattle is a rainy place. Well, all that rain washes away ragweed and tree pollen, helping you to enjoy the city’s many parks. Unfortunately, what’s easy on the nose may be hard on the wallet, with two-bedroom apartments renting for an average of about $3,200 per month here.

Durham, North Carolina

Durham, NC

Located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Durham is a more affordable allergy solution at about $1,667 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Nicknamed the City of Medicine, if your problems persist, it will be super easy to find an allergy doctor here. And while Durham isn’t as famous for rain as Seattle is, the Southern city still gets around 50 inches per year, keeping things fresh and clean.

San Francisco, California

If you’re not allergic to fog, the Bay Area could be a good home for your nasal passages. That ocean wind prevents air stagnation. However, climate change may be lengthening the Bay Area’s allergy season, and only the richest people won’t be allergic to rents of about $4,500 for a two-bedroom San Francisco apartment.

San Jose, California

San Jose, CA

A San Jose apartment will cost about $1,000 less than a San Francisco one, which still isn’t cheap. But the Silicon Valley is on the low end of the grass pollen scale, and nobody has to be allergic in the digital world, right? But beware, as rent prices continue to rise in San Jose.

Portland, Oregon

Portlanders famously love to hike in the nearby Columbia Gorge, on Mount Hood, and in the Rose City’s urban parks. While some people find springtime spikes in the grass pollen count challenging in Portland, the rain does an overall good job of washing much of it away. And while prices have risen a lot over the last decade, you can still find a two-bedroom apartment here for less than $2,000 a month, which is good for large west coast cities.

Sacramento, California

Sacramento, CA

Like Portland, spring pollen spikes might make Sacramento less than ideal for some allergy sufferers. But if fall usually brings you more allergy trouble than spring, Sacramento could be for you. The northern California city is located in a fertile valley where agriculture reigns. Fortunately for allergy sufferers, crops have replaced much of the native sneeze-inducing trees and grasses. This is a sunny city where rents average about $2,397 for a two-bedroom apartment.

Denver, Colorado

The Mile High City has a generally low pollen count, though spring and summer winds can blow in some unappealing cottonwood pollen. Aside from that, Denver is good for healthcare and outdoor access. The beauty of the nearby mountains does come at a cost though, with two-bedroom apartments running about $2,616 per month.

Provo, Utah

Provo, Utah

This gem of a town is home to Brigham Young University and is full of polite college students and ice cream shops, with easy access to gorgeous hikes, to boot. At 4,551 feet above sea level, it’s too high and dry to collect much pollen. Plus, Provo’s long, cold winter allows plants less time to release it. Best of all, Provo is one of the most affordable cities on the AAFA’s list, with two-bedroom apartments renting for about $1,500 per month.

Phoenix, Arizona

Cacti are one of the best plants for people with allergies. It only makes sense that living in Phoenix, a huge Arizona city sprawling in the desert, would be a good choice for allergy sufferers. People have long moved to the desert to cure everything from tuberculosis to rhinitis. Plus, Phoenix has one of the lowest average rents on the AAFA list, at $1,627 for a two-bedroom apartment.

Fresno, California

Fresno, CA

Like Sacramento, agricultural crops have long replaced native plants in Fresno, cutting down on annoying pollen. Still, it’s not exactly famous for good air quality, so asthma sufferers may want to live elsewhere. On the upside, you’ll have lots of sunny days, and at $1,484 for a two-bedroom apartment, it’s cheaper than the average rent for a major California city.

Of course, you’re probably wondering where the worst places for seasonal allergies are. According to the AAFA, allergy sufferers should stay out of Scranton, PA, Wichita, KS, McAllen, TX, Richmond, VA, and San Antonio, TX.

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