Get ready to discover the top worst states for seasonal allergies. I compiled the data from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) top allergy capitals article. From this article, I created averages to come up with the 35 states with the worst allergies in the U.S.
The AAFAs report was compiled by considering the following:
- Spring and fall seasonal allergy scores
- Over-the-counter allergy medications purchased
- Availability of board-certified allergists in the local area
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Worst States for Allergies Grading Scale
The grading scale is 1-100. The higher the number, the worst the state is for allergies based on the reporting criteria above.
To compile the worst states for allergies, I only included states that had an average state grade of 50 points or higher.
Heatmap of the 35 Worst States for Allergies
This heatmap is a good visualization to get an idea of what states and areas are not good for allergy sufferers.
The areas that are blacked out, did not have an average score greater than 50 on the grading scale (not included as a “worst” state).
Ranking of the 35 Worst States for Allergy Sufferers:
- Virginia (93.93)
- Kansas (89.09)
- Connecticut (83.04)
- Oklahoma (80.38)
- Nevada (77.58)
- Kentucky (74.52)
- Pennsylvania (71.12)
- Rhode Island (67.57)
- New York (66.82)
- Texas (66.61)
- Florida (66.46)
- South Carolina (66.26)
- Michigan (66.18)
- Tennessee (64.99)
- Arkansas (64.1)
- Ohio (62.96)
- Massachusetts (62.29)
- Alabama (61.91)
- Louisiana (61.56)
- Missouri (61.23)
- Iowa (60.4)
- Illinois (60.26)
- Georgia (60.17)
- Mississippi (59.51)
- Indiana (59.16)
- Arizona (58.97)
- Washington D.C. (57.79)
- New Mexico (57.52)
- Nebraska (57.34)
- Maryland (56.91)
- North Carolina (56.44)
- Minnesota (55.85)
- Utah (55.36)
- California (53.22)
- Colorado (52.54)
Worst States for Allergy Sufferers Chart
Overall, there is not a huge difference in the state’s rankings. For example, Louisiana and Missouri are less than half a point from each other. Although this state chart is busy, it does provide a great visual aid when looking at these states side-by-side.
Worst State for Allergies
The worst state for allergies in the U.S. is Virginia. Virginia tops the AFAA charts with a rating of 93.93 out of 100. If you suffer from allergies and you live in Virginia, this may explain why. For those of you looking for the worst states for allergies so you can avoid living there, you may want to pass up Virginia.
Preventing Allergy Attacks in the Worst States
Allergens are everywhere! We don’t have to be miserable all the time, there are steps we can take to find relief. Here are some quick pointers for allergy relief, regardless of where you live (even in the worst allergy states).
Avoidance of Allergens
Knowing what you are allergic to is step 1. Once you know what triggers your allergy, the best way to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid the trigger.
If you don’t know what you are allergic to, it might be a good idea to start an allergy tracking sheet, let me explain.
Tracking when you have symptoms (after eating, going outside, or visiting certain areas) will give you and your medical provider a great starting point in finding what you are allergic to.
Our bodies release histamine to respond to the “unknown” substance (or allergen). Antihistamines are Anti-Histamine, which can help your body calm down its response.
Common antihistamines are Benedryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec, which can be purchased over the counter.
Cleaning to Remove Allergens
Preventing an allergic reaction while living in one of the worst allergy states, might be achieved with cleaning.
Keeping high-traffic areas clean, as well as your bedroom can go a long way to limit allergy symptoms. Here are some areas around the house to consider cleaning regularly.
Areas Around the House to Clean for Allergy Symptom Prevention
- All carpets and rugs
- Ensure your vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter
- Clean/replace vacuum filters often
- Outdoor clothing brought into the house
- Frequent dusting of all horizontal surfaces
- Bedding to include pillows
- Window sills
Shower Away Allergens
Showing at the end of the day, or when you come in for the day is a great allergen prevention method.
Showering will rinse off the allergens (even worst state allergens).
When you are outside, pollen, mold, and mildew spores are all around you in the air. These hitchhikers get into your clothes, hair, and can also hang out on your skin.
Air Filter Replacement
If you have central air or air conditioning in your house, there is an air filter. This filter is the first line of defense against dust and pollen becoming blown all through the house, so it is important to change your filter regularly.
Changing your HVAC filter often increases the heat/cooling efficiency as well. A well-maintained HVAC system will improve your indoor allergy symptoms, and save you money.
Consider a HEPA Filter if You Live in a “Worst Allergen State”
A High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) can filter over 99.9% of allergens from the air you breathe. If you have indoor or seasonal allergies, you will want to have a HEPA filter in your home.
Additionally, EPA.gov explains that indoor air quality can be 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air quality. Removing the source of pollutants in your home and filtering them out is a great step to cleaner air inside your home.
We have a WINIX Air Purifier for our home, and we absolutely love it. You can check out the full review here (WINIX PlasmaWave 5500-2 True HEPA Air Purifier Review) if you are interested in getting a HEPA filter.
Our family immediately noticed a difference in air quality, and we rarely have to dust indoors.
If you want to check it out on Amazon, here is the exact HEPA filter we use.
Keep Windows Closed During Your Peak Allergy Season
Your windows are an instant gateway for the outdoor allergens to enter your home. Don’t let them in, and keep the windows closed!
According to AAFA.org, the worst state to live in for allergies is Virginia.
Are allergies worse in different states?
Yes, allergies can be worse in different states. Weather patterns, plants, and animals vary from state to state causing some allergy sufferers to have better or worse symptoms depending on their location. The type of allergy also plays a role. For example, if you have a mold allergy, living in a highly humid or constantly moist environment may make your allergies flare up worse, compared to living in a dry environment.
Why are allergies so bad in Virginia?
Allergies are so bad for seasonal allergy sufferers in Virginia because of the variety and density of pollen-producing plants. During the spring months, most trees are blooming and release pollen. Summertime is when the grass season begins, and fall is the season for weeds.
What are your thoughts on this list, do you think your state should be higher up? Let me know! Email: email@example.com