This ranking is something to sneeze at: San Antonio blows its way to No. 5 on a new list of the country’s worst places for allergies.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s 2022 Allergy Capitals report ranks the most challenging cities in the U.S. to live with seasonal pollen allergies. The group bases its ranking on three factors:
- Higher-than-average spring pollen.
- Higher-than-average fall pollen.
- Lack of board-certified allergists and immunologists.
Among the 100 biggest metro areas based on population, San Antonio ranks fourth for above-average fall pollen and 13th for above-average spring pollen. Last year, San Antonio landed at No. 14 overall.
Ahead of San Antonio in the overall ranking are Scranton, Pennsylvania (No. 1); Wichita, Kansas (No. 2); McAllen (No. 3); and Richmond, Virginia (No. 4).
Elsewhere in Texas:
- El Paso holds the No. 15 spot.
- Dallas holds the No. 28 spot.
- Houston holds the No. 34 spot.
- Austin holds the No. 67 spot.
Seattle claims the award for being the least problematic metro area in terms of seasonal allergies.
“Climate change is a public health emergency. More than 24 million people in the U.S. have seasonal allergic rhinitis, which is most often caused by pollen allergies,” says Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “If we don’t slow down the warming temperatures, pollen production will only intensify. This means symptoms could worsen as climate change continues to evolve.”