Fall Allergy Capitals 2018

Ragweed season is here! Do you live in one of the 2018 Fall Allergy Capitals? If so, AAFA has some tips to help you find relief.

Nasal allergies affect more than 50 million Americans. In the fall, weeds – such as ragweed and pigweed – are the most common causes of seasonal allergies. AAFA’s annual Fall Allergy CapitalsTM report provides insights into cities where people are most affected by fall allergies.

Fall Allergy Caps

The five most challenging places to live with fall allergies this year are:

  1. McAllen, Texas
  2. Louisville, Kentucky
  3. Jackson, Mississippi
  4. San Antonio, Texas
  5. Dayton, Ohio

The report looks at three important factors:

  • Pollen and mold counts
  • Allergy medication usage
  • Availability of board-certified allergists

This year’s report names McAllen, Texas, as the top Fall Allergy Capital due to its:

  • Higher than average pollen
  • Higher than average medicine use
  • Lower availability of board-certified allergists

McAllen, Texas, was also named our top Spring Allergy Capital for 2018.

Get Allergy Relief No Matter Where You Live

Common symptoms of fall allergies include:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion

“AAFA’s annual Fall Allergy Capitals™ report provides important insights into cities where people are most affected by seasonal symptoms from environmental factors like pollen, use allergy medication frequently, and have ready access to board-certified clinicians,” says Kenneth Mendez, President and CEO of AAFA. “Whether you live in an allergy capital or not, it’s important to work with your health care provider to recognize the elements that trigger your allergies and determine the best treatment to enjoy your life unrestricted by seasonal allergies.”

Where Does Your City Rank in Your Region?

The 2018 Fall Allergy Capitals also ranks cities by regions to provide a closer look into how each city stacks up against surrounding areas.

2018 Regional Rankings

No. 1 in the Northeast – Providence, Rhode Island
No. 1 in the South – McAllen, Texas
No. 1 in the Midwest – Dayton, Ohio
No. 1 in the West – Las Vegas, Nevada


Where Can I Get More Information About the Fall 2018 Rankings?

2018 Fall Allergy Capitals - 100 Metro Areas and Regional Rankings  Download PDF

Press Release  Download PDF

What Can I Do for My Fall Allergies?

Ragweed pollen – the most common cause of fall allergy symptoms – starts to appear in most of the U.S. in August, peaking in mid-September. Other offending fall plants include pigweed, burning bush, cocklebur, sagebrush, mugwort, lamb’s-quarters, tumbleweed and Russian thistle. Mold is also high due to falling leaves that collect on the ground.

There are apps you can use to watch your area’s pollen counts. On days that pollen is high for ragweed and other weed pollen you are allergic to, you can take these actions to reduce your pollen exposure:

  • Limit outdoor activities
  • Keep windows closed
  • Use central air conditioning with air filtration
  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors
  • Wear a hat to cover your hair
  • Take a shower and shampoo hair before going to bed to remove pollen from your hair and skin
  • Change and wash clothes worn during outdoor activities
  • Dry laundry in a clothes dryer, 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
  • Rinse the inside of your nose with a nasal rinse to flush out and remove pollen you have inhaled
  • Use a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® air cleaner (portable or whole house/HVAC)
Certification  Logo - Asthma and Allergy Friendly

How to reduce your exposure to mold spores outside:

If you have a mold allergy, you may experience symptoms as leaves fall and collect on the ground. But mold can also cause issues year-round. When mold counts are high, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to outdoor mold:

  • Limit outdoor activities. This will reduce the amount of mold spores you inhale.
  • Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 mask and sunglasses or goggles when cutting grass, digging around plants, picking up leaves and disturbing other plant materials.

There are also options available to prevent or treat allergy symptoms:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medicines – some work best if you start taking them before the allergy season begins.
  • Immunotherapy – there are shots or tablets available that are a long-term treatment for pollen allergy. They can help prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions.

Talk with your doctor or health care provider months before the fall allergy season begins so you can discuss which treatment is right for you.

Our Fall Allergy Capitals report is an independent research project of AAFA.