16 Mar

Map of the Week: National Allergy Map

By Isobel Lu

The beginning of spring brings flowers and warmer weather, but for many, it also means the start of allergy season. In 2021, approximately 81 million people in the United States suffered from seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Spring allergy symptoms usually begin to emerge in March and early May, when mulberry, oak, and pine trees reach their peak and release their pollen. However, experts say that seasonal allergies may be rising earlier than in previous years due to warmer temperatures from climate change increasing the length of the growing season. The earlier and longer growing season for plants means that several cities have already seen spikes in pollen count, such as Atlanta, where allergen levels have been record high since the end of February. 

This interactive allergy map from Pollen.com shows the daily allergy levels and pollen count forecasts for cities around the United States. While browsing through the cities, readers can view the top allergens for their area, as well as a 5-day forecast to prepare for their week. The most common allergens behind the sniffles every spring season are usually various tree pollens, ragweeds, and grass pollen. The chair of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation recommends changing air conditioning and heating system filters to keep symptoms at bay, and stocking on anti-allergy medicines in advance. 

Although spring allergies can be a pain, don’t let it stop you from going outside and enjoying the spring blooms!