Allergy is a condition in which the immune system reacts to harmless particles like dust and pollen, causing symptoms like sneezing and congestion. Allergies and sinus symptoms often go hand-in-hand and can cause much misery for sufferers. Because different locations have unique climates and plant life, certain places may be more conducive to an allergy-free lifestyle. Understanding the root cause of allergies can help determine the best places to live for allergy and sinus sufferers.
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In order to determine which places are best for allergy and sinus sufferers, you must first be aware of your specific triggers. Factors to consider when choosing a new location include climate, average pollen count during each season, prevalent allergens in the area and access to quality allergy and immunology clinics.
While some cities have naturally lower levels of allergens like grass pollen or mold spores, moving to a new location can trigger symptoms even in those without a history of the condition. According to "The New York Times," changing homes, moving to a new city or getting a new pet can all serve as triggers for sinus and allergy symptoms.
In many cases, repeated exposure to new triggers can result in sensitization to those substances in people not previously allergic to them. This is because allergies are thought to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors, with genetically predisposed people being more prone to development of new allergies.
The best places to live for allergy sufferers changes from year to year and season to season. According to Beyond Allergy, three basic factors are considered when determining the best and worst cities for allergies, including pollen scores, number of allergy specialists per person and the number of different medications taken by each patient.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology ranks cities based on these factors each year due to fluctuations in climate, pollen count variations and other changes. For instance, some cities may have high allergen scores in the spring and significantly lower scores in the fall or winter.
The best way to prevent allergies is to reduce your exposure to known triggers. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, indoor air often contains more allergens than outdoor air. Using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter, vacuuming weekly and keeping pets out of the bedroom can help lower your exposure to indoor allergens.
In general, people with severe mold sensitivities fare better in dry or desert-like climates, while those with dust allergies have fewer symptoms in areas with high precipitation and humidity. Other factors that can affect one's overall allergic burden include food sensitivities, skin allergies and other immunological conditions.
Moving to a new location to escape your allergies is not an effective treatment in itself. Allergy testing is vital for choosing the best course of action, which may or may not involve moving to a new home or city.