Apr 11, 2024 - News

Richmond's allergy season is officially one of the worst

Illustration of tiny toy people climbing up a mountain of pollen with a large flower growing from the middle

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Richmond is in the throes of spring allergy season, and locals have plenty to complain about this year.

State of play: RVA ranked as the seventh most challenging place to live with seasonal allergies in the country, according to an annual report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Why it matters: Richmond was No. 23 last year, so this is worse.

The big picture: While spring brings some of the most beautiful weather and blossoms to the area, the pollen those blossoms produce make it challenging for locals who suffer from asthma and allergies.

  • Around a quarter of all adults and 1 in 5 children suffer from seasonal allergies, according to the CDC.

Threat level: April is historically Richmond's worst month for spring allergies, and Saturday is on track to be the city's highest pollen day count yet, according to Pollen.com.

Zoom in: Richmond consistently ranks as a city with some of the highest annual pollen counts in the nation, the Washington Post reported last year.

Zoom out: It's not just humans. Spring allergies suck for pets too, particularly dogs, who are increasingly being treated for itchy skin and allergies, Axios' Carly Mallenbaum reports.

  • Pet insurance company Trupanion reported a 45% increase in allergy claims for insured pets in 2023 compared to 2019.
  • And insurer Nationwide says allergies top the list of health conditions that prompt vet visits.

What we're watching: The end is nigh — at least for the worst of allergy season, for humans and pets, according to PollenSense.com.

  • This is Richmond's third straight week of high pollen counts (greater than 9.7 on a 0-12 scale).
  • Beginning next week, Richmond is back to its traditional springtime "medium high" count through June.

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