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Relocating for allergy relief ?

My younger brother has severe allergies . He is allergic to most of the plants here in Colorado. To add to that he is diabetic (Type 1) and has asthma (mostly allergy induced ) . My family is considering relocating to give him some relief . The places we are considering so far are Portland, OR , Florida or Coastal Maine . Anyone have any experience with relocating with allergies in mind ? Let me know you experience below .

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  • Shea

    Welcome to the forum! I am sorry to hear your brother is struggling so badly with his allergies… I definitely understand that!

    I considered relocating from Florida to another place (but Im still in Florida). We have year-round allergens here and if you're not allergic to them now– you probably will be shortly, because they are large quantities tiny pokey pollens and lots of people I know who have moved here from places and never had allergies have them here. Ragweed pollen, oak pollen, grass pollens, and mold (we have very high humidity here too which makes mold grow easily and dustmites worse too). You have to be really careful purchasing an older home here because they likely have mold (I was renting an older home for a while and finally purchased a new manufactured home and my breathing is much better now– plus I dont have 2 oak trees in my yard anymore so that is helpful too. There is no snow to ever clear the allergies out of the air, so it is year-round– but I typically do better in the winter here and each allergen does have worst months.

    When I was considering moving I thought about New Mexico. But it has been better to me to stay near my family and just focus on keeping my home living environment as allergy-free as possible, and AAFA has lots of things you can put into your toolbox to improve indoor air quality in your home and tips like, no matter how tempting, dont open the windows especially when pollens are higher– use that AC with a good filter, and some allergy-friendly indoor house plants to keep the air ftesh and clean, and a HEPA air purifier in the bedroom. Use a HEPA vacuum, wash bedding in hot water weekly, shower immediately after being outside for a long time, kerp things that drag pollens in away from upolstery and bedrooms, if you are allergic to an animal dont keep it as a pet (are a few of the strategies I've adopted). And I do sometimes wrar my asthma mask as well– they have some stylish ones online (Cambridge masks, vog mask are a few– but if Im doing lawnwork or gardening RZ masks are the best).

    Relocating is so tough because you just dont know hiw your going to do and moving can be hard (although when I was younger it was easier). The best place I ever lived for my allergies and health was in Arizona. I lived there for a year and it was like the first time I could breathe outta my nose. But the pollution is higher there (especially in the Phoenix area I was near) so not sure how I wouldve done long-term.

  • Melissa G

    Hi Kimberlynn! Welcome to AAFA! So glad that you found us! 

    Moving to avoid certain allergens can be hard, a person than can find out they have other allergies. 

    Here is our  you can find out if your city is a bad place to live in if you have allergies. You can also check out the area you may be moving too. 

    What is your brother currently doing to manage his allergies?

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs on all the allergies and the asthma! That has to be frustrating!

    Each person's asthma is individual, and one person's asthma triggers can be very different from another person with asthma. Could you talk to your doctor about your asthma triggers and keep that in mind as you research where to live?

    Most allergists agree that moving to another location will not permanently solve a person's pollen allergy problems because it is common for people to develop new allergies to the new location’s pollen within a few seasons. AAFA says it does not recommend using their Capitals list to find cities to move to.

    Dust mite allergy may be an exception to the location issue – if you have a dust mite allergy that is severe and treatment is not helping quality of life, then it may be time to talk with allergist about moving to a location known to have less dust mites. Dust mites thrive in humid climates. Cities like Denver, CO – with high altitude and low humidity/desert conditions – have lower amounts of dust mites.  Denver is also home to a leading asthma/allergy hospital: National Jewish Health.

    Another thing you could do is to reach out to county extension agencies — the flagship state university of each state usually runs that service. They can connect you to a county extension agent in the area that you are considering, and you can learn more about what plants and flowers are blooming when. The can help you find each state's extension service contact info.