Spoiler alert: Allergists say your plans might not be up to snuff.
What the hay (fever)—does pollen season have you running for the hills? The United States is seeing a distant light at the end of the pandemic tunnel with over half of the population having at least one dose of the vaccine. The bad news is that once everyone emerges from hibernation, their sinuses may be bombarded with allergens. Hasn’t the world been through enough?
You might be tempted to escape your bubble by moving to another part of the country at your next sneeze. However, allergists caution against moving for allergies, saying your symptoms aren’t likely to improve once you move.
If You’re Itching to Move, You Should Probably Stay Put
Pollen might be rampant where you live, so moving might seem like a common-sense solution. However, keep in mind that many types of allergens can cause seasonal symptoms. This includes certain types of pollens, trees, grasses, and molds. What’s more, if you have these outdoor allergies, you have an increased risk of indoor allergies as well. If that’s the case, even dust mites, insects, chemicals, and pets could be the culprit.
Here’s why that matters: When you move, you might escape one trigger, but you might also encounter new allergens that weren’t a problem before. The allergen that drove you nuts in your previous home may not be a problem, but you may get serious trouble from a new allergy. It might be even worse because your body isn’t used to it and has no immunity against it.
Alternatives to Moving for Allergies
If you’re set on moving for allergies, check out the area first. Visit for two weeks to a month to test how your allergies improve or increase. Plan your visit for a time when allergens tend to be present. Experts also recommend taking your allergy medication before you start packing.
Still, you can’t guarantee that you won’t be affected by seasonal allergies in a new location. As a result, moving could be a very expensive solution that just breeds more problems. Instead of making the move, see an allergist first. They can help you identify triggers and give you guidance on how to best manage them, such as:
- Monitoring pollen, mold, and weed counts from organizations like the National Allergy Bureau (NAB)
- Keeping windows closed
- Limiting outdoor activities when pollen counts are high
- Showering and changing clothes after being outside
- Wearing a face mask that filters as you inhale
Your allergist may also recommend medications, such as non-drowsy antihistamines for seasonal allergies. You may also want to try nasal sprays and saline rinses. If those don’t work, you might be a candidate for immunotherapy shots or even an inhaler (if you are diagnosed with asthmatic allergies).
If you’re thinking of moving solely because of your seasonal allergies, see an allergist so you can start addressing your native triggers.
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