COLUMBIA, S.C. — If you can read this despite red watery eyes and occasional bouts of sneezing, the following story may not surprise you. Columbia has been ranked among the 20 most "challenging" cities for people with allergies in the U.S.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recently released its 2022 list of cities that cause the most trouble for allergy sufferers and Columbia ranked number 14th out of its 100 "Allergy Capitals".
The report, started in 2003, takes the top 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and identifies the worst spots based on spring and fall pollen scores while also looking at the area's number of allergy and immunology specialists.
When broken down between fall and spring allergies, Columbia stays pretty close to the same rank. It hops up the list in the spring, nearly breaking the 10 worst allergy areas at 12th but falls slightly to 16th for fall allergies.
Overall, Columbia's "Allergy Score is 76.28 between El Paso, Texas (76.23) and Dayton, Ohio (76.54).
The map of all locations also illustrates a pretty interesting trend. A vast majority of the worst metropolitan areas for allergy sufferers are near the East Coast. The best, for the most part, are on the west side of the country.
It's also worth pointing out that, while some of the "worse than average" states were in the Southeast, a large number of them were in the Northeast and New England area. In fact, the worst region by score (100) is Scranton, Pennsylvania.