Has City Living Worsened Your Allergies?

Has City Living Worsened Your Allergies?

The earth is getting much hotter – and the effects of extreme weather patterns felt across the U.S. have also led to longer pollen seasons, worsening symptoms for allergy sufferers.

But did you know the effects of much warmer temperatures are amplified in cities? So, if you live in or near a major urban area, your allergies may be much worse.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), warmer temperatures are felt more intensely in cities due to the “urban heat island” effect, caused by more buildings, roads, population, and fewer green spaces.

Additionally, smog and air pollution from increased CO2 levels in cities generates higher ragweed pollen levels – up to 7X higher for an average increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, than surrounding rural areas.

These combined factors can increase allergic sensitivity. When ground level ozone pollution levels are high, it takes much less ragweed pollen to trigger an allergic response. Allergens in pollen grains can stick to tiny diesel exhaust particles which can penetrate deep in the lungs and remain there for a long time, which prolongs allergy suffering.

If you live in a city with higher-than-average seasonal pollen counts, here are some tips to cope:

If you’re taking allergy medications, check with your doctor and take extra precautions during the warmer months as these may increase your risk of over-heating or dehydration, among other things.


Related Resources:

2022 Allergy Capitals Report (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, AAFA)

High Ozone and Pollen Levels Could Worsen Allergies (Scientific American)

6 Ways to Keep Exercising Outside With Allergies (WebMD)


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