Apr 19, 2024 - News

Dallas ranks among the top U.S. allergy capitals

Illustration of a flower with a menacing look

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Feeling tired? Have itchy eyes? Sneezing louder than a leaf blower? Welcome to one of the allergy capitals of the U.S.

The big picture: The Dallas-Fort Worth area is fourth among the most challenging places to live in the U.S. with allergies, per a recent Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America report.

  • Last year, D-FW had the most "high" and "very high" tree pollen days of the 100 most populous U.S. metros.

Driving the news: Pollen counts have been high for the past few weeks in North Texas with little reprieve in sight.

  • And, grass pollen has been especially high this week.

Threat level: Allergy seasons, especially in the Southern states, are getting longer. Growing seasons start earlier and go later than they did 30 years ago.

  • And some states, including Texas, now experience grass pollen year-round, per the report.

Zoom in: The foundation scored the worst places for people with allergies to live based on a combination of pollen counts for tree, grass and weed allergens, use of allergy medication and the number of allergy specialists in the area.

  • Dallas was worse than the average in pollen counts and over-the-counter medication used and about average in the number of specialists.
  • Of note: The report was supported by Bayer Claritin — yes, the allergy medicine.

How to help yourself: Check pollen counts before heading outside. Wear extra covering, including hats and sunglasses, on high-pollen days to limit what gets into your eyes and nose.

  • Take off your shoes and change your clothes after outdoor activities to limit how much pollen gets into your home.
  • Use HEPA filters in your home and air conditioning units.
  • Wipe down your pets before they come inside.
  • Shower before bed to keep pollen out of your bedding.

The bottom line: Bless you.

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