Upstate NY city named one of the worst in US for allergies
New York state is home to some of the worst cities in America for seasonal allergies, according to a new report.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released its list of the top 20 “Allergy Capitals” for March 2023, and Rochester ranked 20th in the US with a total pollen score of 76.74. Rochester also ranked 8th in the nation for tree pollen, behind Wichita, Kansas; Dallas, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; and two cities in Oklahoma and Florida.
The Democrat & Chronicle reports that Rochester is seeing worse pollen totals than usual this spring, likely due to changing weather patterns and a milder winter.
“With warmer temperatures, the pollen season tends to be longer,” Dr. S. Shahzad Mustafa, chief of allergy, immunology and rheumatology at Rochester Regional Health. “There is this trend toward a worsening of the pollen season.”
Allergies are mainly caused by plants, trees and grass that release pollen in the spring to fertilize other plants. The particles can be inhaled, causing the immune system to overreact in some people, leading to the release of histamine and causing sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and other symptoms.
Spring arrived three to four weeks earlier than usual in many states, according to the D&C. The US National Phenology Network, which tracks leaf and flower growth rates across the country, said New York has seen the earliest signs of spring in 40 years, contrary to what the ground predicted in February.
Three other cities in New York state are seeing normal allergy seasons this year, but still among the nation’s worst 100: Albany ranks 40th with a Polish score of 72.63, just above the national average of 71.49; Poughkeepsie placed 42nd with a pole score of 72.45; and Syracuse ranked 57th with a pole score of 70.04. Albany also ranks 28th worst for grass pollen, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Buffalo is seeing a better-than-average allergy season, perhaps thanks to a harsh winter that saw more than twice as much snow as Syracuse, but still made the list as the 100th worst allergy city in the country.
Top Allergy Capitals in the US – March 2023
1. Wichita, KS
2. Dallas, Texas
3. Scranton, PA
4. Oklahoma City, OK
5. Tulsa, OK
6. Sarasota, FL
7. Cape Coral, FL
8. Orlando, FL
9. Des Moines, IA
10. Greenville, SC
20. Rochester, NY
40. Albany, NY
42. Poughkeepsie, NY
57. Syracuse, NY
86. New York, NY
100. Buffalo, NY