The highly encouraged and in some places strictly enforced social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic may come as a relief to people with spring allergies.
Early March is usually a time when more than 50 million Americans who suffer from allergic rhinitis, the medical name for hay fever or seasonal allergies, start experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of their immune system’s hypersensitivity to pollen from trees, grass, weeds, or airborne mold spores.
24/7 Tempo reviewed the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s 2020 report on metropolitan cities where people are most affected by spring allergies.
In addition to pollen, air pollution — which is unhealthy for anyone exposed to it — can make life particularly miserable for people with allergies. It is especially true of particulate matter 2.5 pollution (PM2.5), or fine inhalable particles that have a diameter of less than 2.5 microns — about 3% of the diameter of a human hair.
Spring allergies can cause sneezing, stuffy and runny nose, watery eyes, as well as itchy nose, eyes, and mouth, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology — and here are 20 easy remedies that can help relieve allergy suffering.
To identify the 25 worst cities for people with spring allergies, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s 2020 report on the 100 metropolitan cities where people are most affected by spring allergies. The AAFA ranking is based on a total score, which includes seasonal pollen measures, over-the-counter allergy medication use, and number of allergy specialists. For each city, AAFA obtained a comprehensive index of the population at risk of being affected by pollen and allergy prevalence for each pollen type, using the most recently available 12-month data.
The measure of fine particle pollution (PM2.5) comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 report on air quality and air pollutants in the United States. Population figures are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 5-year American Community Survey.