Dallas Ranks One of Nation’s Worst for Allergies

Man with allergies | Image by Guillermo Spelucin/Getty Images

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recently released a study that shows the Dallas-Fort Worth area is among the most challenging for people suffering from allergies.

The report, which was funded by the pharmaceutical company Bayer, claims the DFW area is the fourth-worst region in the nation, as reported by Axios. The Dallas area had more “high” and “very high” risk days for tree pollen than any of the 100 most populous regions in the United States.

“In 2021, approximately 81 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever),” the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported. “This equals around 26% (67 million) of adults and 19% (14 million) of children. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds.”

Axios previously reported that growing seasons are getting longer in Texas, which consequently creates a longer allergy season. Using data from Climate Central, the news outlet found that the growing season had increased by 21 days between 1970 and 2020. The data compared the date of the last freeze of winter to the first freeze the following season.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) claimed the cause of the lengthening growing season and the corresponding increase in allergy-suffering days was tied to climate change.

“The largest and most consistent increases were observed in Texas and the midwestern United States,” a report from PNAS reads. “Among climate-related health impacts, pollen trends may be particularly suited to detection and attribution because both elevated temperature and CO2 concentrations have been found to increase pollen production in greenhouse or growth chamber experimental studies.”

AAFA identified Witchita, Kansas, as the worst region in the United States for allergy sufferers. Also above Dallas was Virginia Beach, Virginia, at No.2 and Greensville, South Carolina, at No.3. Houston also ranked in the top 20 at No.14.

The report notes that former top-ranked Scranton, Pennsylvania, is no longer in the ranking, but not due to an improvement in allergy conditions. Rather, Scranton’s population has dipped below the top 100 in the nation and is no longer ranked. The report notes that Scranton would have been at No.2 had the city been included.

Allergy sufferers can take steps to improve conditions. AAFA states that people should remove shoes and wipe down pets when coming inside from outdoor activities and showering before bed to prevent pollen in bedding. Antihistamines are effective for many people to help control symptoms of allergies, but long-term use carries some health risks, according to a study published by the National Library of Medicine.

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