REPORT: These Pa. cities rank among the worst for allergy sufferers | The Numbers Racket

By: - April 5, 2021 7:25 am

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For those with seasonal allergies, this time of year can be difficult to deal with, and depending on where you are in the country, it could be especially difficult this year.

A 2021 study by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America found that many metropolitan areas are expected to have a “worse than average” year for seasonal allergies. Many of those metropolitan areas are in the northeast, with five located in Pennsylvania. 

Overall Findings

The AAFA ranked major metropolitan areas across the country using a variety of factors, sorting them by three categories – worse than average, average, better than average. 

Here’s what they found: 

Scranton, Pa. topped the list at number one for most challenging places to live with allergies overall. Scranton fell in the “worse than average” category. 

Pittsburgh also joined Scranton at the top of the list coming in at number five. 

Also in the “worse than average” category was Allentown, Pa. at 25th most challenging place to live with allergies overall. 

The state’s largest city, Philadelphia, landed at 28th, in the “average” category. 

Coming in below the national average score of 64.43, Harrisburg, Pa. ranked 78th (57.48), earning it a “better than average” rating. 

Spring Allergies

The top ten metropolitan areas for spring allergies are:

  • Richmond, Va. 
  • Scranton, Pa. 
  • Wichita, Kan. 
  • Virginia Beach, Va. 
  • Pittsburgh, Pa. 
  • Hartford, Conn. 
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Las Vegas, Nev. 
  • Springfield, Mass. 

While Scranton and Pittsburgh landed in the top 10 most challenging places to live with spring allergies, a few other cities in Pennsylvania landed in the top 100. 

The Lehigh Valley’s Allentown, Pa. came in at 24th with Philadelphia not far behind at 27th. Further down on the list, Harrisburg, the state’s capital city, ranked 74th. 

Fall Allergies

The top ten metropolitan areas for fall allergies are: 

  • Scranton, Pa. 
  • Richmond, Va. 
  • Wichita, Kan. 
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Pittsburgh, Pa. 
  • Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Hartford, Conn. 
  • Springfield, Mass. 
  • New Haven, Conn. 
  • Albany, N.Y.

When looking at fall allergies, Allentown, Philadelphia and Harrisburg all landed back on this list, varying just slightly from their spring allergy rankings. 

  • Allentown, 26th
  • Philadelphia, 30th
  • Harrisburg, 75th 

Methodology

The ranking in the 2021 AAFA report is based on analysis of four factors – seasonal pollen scores, over-the-counter medication use and the number of allergy specialists. Sources for this data come from the American Board of Medical Specialties, Specialists Database; IQVIA Allergy Activity Notification, (AAN) Program Database;  IRI Medication Sales Database; U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census, Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared. Follow her on Twitter: @Wordsby_CassieM.

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