Austin sniffs for a new spot on the list of worst places for allergies

In news that will no doubt sound like a slap in the face akin to a bad case of cedar fever, Austin has dropped down the rankings again on a new list of the worst places in the country for allergy sufferers.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s 2022 Allergy Capitals report ranks the toughest US cities to live with seasonal pollen allergies, and this year Austin ranks 67th, down from the ranking of the last year ranked 61st.

The group bases its ranking on three factors:

  • Above average spring pollen.
  • Above average fall pollen.
  • Lack of certified allergists and immunologists.

Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas based on population, Austin ranks 62nd for fall pollen and 73rd for spring pollen.

Ahead of Austin in the overall standings are Scranton, Pa. (No. 1); Wichita, Kansas (No. 2); McAllen (#3); and Richmond, Virginia (No. 4).

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • San Antonio ranks fifth.
  • El Paso ranks 15th.
  • Dallas holds 28th place.
  • Houston sits in 34th place.

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 United States suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, which is most commonly caused by pollen allergies,” says Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “If we don’t slow the warming of temperatures, pollen production will only intensify. This means symptoms could get worse as climate change continues to unfold.

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