If you struggle with allergies so much that your life is constantly spent sneezing, itching, coughing, tearing up, and burning up with fever, it’s time to find a way to improve your quality of life. Maybe you could find another place to live where your allergies can be reduced. To understand how much these allergies are disrupting your existence and require you to make a geographical shift, ask yourself the following questions:
Are my allergies seriously impairing my professional and personal life?
Are my allergies causing a tremendous negative impact on my quality of life?
How much money do I spend monthly to treat my allergies?
Jump Ahead To:
How Do Allergies After Your Quality Of Life?
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your allergies can either be minimal, which comes up every now or then, or it could wreck your life day in and day out or even be fatal. Some of the most common allergies faced by people in the US include:
Before you make a life-changing decision, it’s essential to see whether moving to another city or state will benefit you better health.
1. Test for Allergies: It’s best to get an expert opinion. Go to your general physician to find out the extent of your allergies. They will conduct an allergy test, where you will be injected with a controlled amount of different types of allergen. The ones your skin reacts to are positive for allergy-inducing properties, and you would have to be careful with them, whether they are airborne, water-borne, food-borne, or animal-borne. Discuss the idea of moving with your doctor to get recommendations on what state or city is best suited to your needs and whether moving will help your health improve.
2. Do your research: Get to know what allergies are most rampant around the country. Identify where they are found the most and what places are safer for allergy-prone people. The most common types of allergies prevalent in the United States include:
Seasonal Allergies: Everybody has heard of season pollen allergies. But what they do not know is that 75% of people who have pollen allergies are also allergic to ragweed. Apparently, ragweed is the strongest of all allergens in the US, most commonly prevalent in the Midwest and eastern states. Single ragweed can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains, making it impossible to avoid allergies during the pollen season—ragweed flourishes in humid and warm regions and most rural areas. But pollen can travel by air for hundreds of miles, spreading through cities. The season for pollen grains ranges between mid-July and September.
Dust Mite Allergies: Now, pollen allergy symptoms are suspiciously similar to dust mite allergies, so you may be completely unaware of which allergen is affecting your body. You will find this out only if you do an allergy test. Dust mites are very tiny bugs that live in the dust in your house. They thrive in warm and humid environments, eat dead skin cells, and are invisible to the naked eye, thanks to their microscopic size. Moving your house may not be the solution if this is the source of your allergies. It would help if you reduced the dust mite population in your home, which will help reduce your allergies.
Mold Allergies: Mold spores are as common indoors as they are outdoors. But there are only specific types of mold that cause allergies. If you are allergic to mold and inhale these airborne spores, you will likely suffer from constant sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, or running noses. Depending on the severity of your allergy, you are likely to feel stuffy all throughout the year if you are constantly exposed to mold. Instead of moving houses, you need to contain your mold infestation by checking your home thoroughly for mold and getting rid of it. They will be most commonly found in damp and dark areas, so look first in your bathroom and kitchen. Of course, if the infestation is irreparable and the whole house is teeming with mold, you can consider moving versus bearing the expenses of removing the mold. See what makes more financial sense to you.
Pet Dander Allergy: Many people have pet allergies and do not realize why they are constantly sneezing around their friends or pets. This type of allergy is usually triggered because of dead skin flakes that fly off the pet’s skin and reach your nose. You may also get an allergic reaction to animal saliva or urine exposure. This is mostly prevalent with cats and dogs but can be caused by other animals with fur. Moving houses won’t help because you will be bringing your pet along if you have a pet. So you may have to make a tough decision between tolerating your allergies or giving up your pet for adoption.
3. Consider your options: Moving can be your last resort until you’ve exhausted all other (definitely more affordable) options. One such option includes getting medically treated for your allergies and understanding whether they can be cured or controlled medically.
Immunotherapy for Allergies: Allergy immunotherapy treats allergies by administering shots for a period of time to reduce or stabilize your allergies. The shots inject small amounts of allergens into your body over time so that your body’s immune system can learn to fight the allergens and build up strong resistance over time. While this has been effective in most cases, the major disadvantage in this process is that it takes a long time, between 3 to 5 years even, to take effect.
Exploratory Holiday: Instead of packing up and moving right away, perhaps you can treat yourself to periodical vacations to areas you feel you might like to move to. Staying there for a few days might give you an idea of whether you feel better in those places, what the lifestyle would be like if there are good jobs, schooling, and housing opportunities available there, and whether or not your quality of life will improve, along with your allergy symptoms.
Choosing the Right Place
Since your allergies are the main reason you’re moving, it would be worth your while to research and find out which states are ideal for you to live in and which states you should avoid completely.
Pollen: If you have a major pollen allergy and struggle with hay fever very often, you should move to a state or city near a large water body. Since there is no pollen production near large water bodies, you can breathe better near a lake or the ocean. However, it is important to note that while pollen levels are significantly lower near coastal regions, they are not eliminated. You may still encounter pollen exposure, albeit to a lower degree.
Dust Mites: The microscopic dust mites need warm and humid environments to flourish. So if you are sure you want to move out to another part of the country to avoid dust mite allergies, then choose a low humidity state. Chances of dust mite infestations are much lower there. Arid climates at a high altitude are much harder for dust mites to survive in. So you could move to such regions, like Denver, for example.
Mold: Mold needs to be contained within the house for the allergies to die down. You can hire professionals to get rid of mold for you. But if it’s too much to handle and you are sure you want to move, remember that mold grows in dark and damp areas, so ensure that your house is sufficiently ventilated wherever you move. You choose a more arid region, where the opportunity for mold to thrive is much less.
Stinging Insects: If bug bites and stings are allergy-inducing for you, you need to stay away from greatly forested areas, especially rural cities in the countryside. If you move towards the cities or live in busy cities like New York City, you will be relatively safer from stings.
A research study was conducted based on pollen count, use of medicines to treat allergies, and several board-certified medical practitioners that treat allergies, and these were the results for best and worst to live in if you have allergies:
Once you have found some places that suit you, you need to find out which work for you financially (which you can afford to live in) and professionally (there should be job opportunities within your wheelhouse that pay you well for your work). At the end of the day, if you are constantly ill and suffering because of your allergies, your quality of life will suffer too. So always choose your health first and do what needs to be done.
Do allergies go away when you move?
For people who have suffered from allergies developed over time, their immune systems are not strong enough to deal with germs and allergens in the air, while others with stronger immune systems might not react. So, when allergy-prone individuals move to a city with a better climate and more suitable weather, there have been notable improvements in their allergies.
Where should I move if I have allergies?
The best places to live in the United States if you are prone to allergies are:
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Does living in the mountains help with allergies?
Living in the mountains does not guarantee that you will feel better with your allergies. But clearer air and the absence of pollution do give your body a fighting chance to strengthen its immune system over time, which, in turn, helps with your allergies. It may also give your body some respite and time to heal. Since your body is already fighting allergens and pollutants in the city, it is equipped to handle far lesser amounts of both up in the mountains.
These are the states in the US where you won’t have a problem with pollen:
Do people move because of allergies?
There are many reasons people move houses, one of which is health. Many people who suffer from environmental allergies and illnesses brought on by the likes of pollen, dust, mold, and pollution are much better off moving out of the city or state they are living into a state that is better suited to them.
For people who have trouble living in humid climates, it is challenging to find a place with the right weather balance, with just the safest amount of necessary humidity versus asthma-inducing humidity. While dust mites and mold do not survive in lower humidity, higher humidity is ideal for clearing your nasal and throat. What you need and can control to your liking is indoor temperatures that are neither too dry nor too cold.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.