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What are some good places to live if you have seasonal allergies?


Seasonal allergies -- sometimes called seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever -- are the result of a mistake by your immune system. Your body thinks that pollen or mold spores are harmful, so when you breathe them in, your body launches an attack. Your white blood cells create antibodies called immunoglobulin E, and the antibodies connect with your mast cells. Together, they wage war on the invading allergens using a whole host of chemical weapons. One of these chemicals, histamine, is responsible for your unpleasant allergic symptoms like sneezing, coughing, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Because allergies tend to be genetic and often come in groups, escaping seasonal allergies can be tricky. Most allergists recommend implementing changes in the home before relocating.

If you want to move to a new region in order to alleviate your seasonal allergies, doctors recommend that you try out a new place for a few weeks before deciding. Where you live now, you might be allergic to the pollen from one type of grass, so you may think about moving somewhere without it. However, the new location might have a different type of grass you didn't know you were allergic to. Sometimes, you develop new allergies months after you relocate because your body realizes it's found something else it's afraid of. You can end up trading one allergy for another.

Some guidelines to keep in mind if you want to move in order to avoid allergies are that weather can play a big role in allergic reactions, as can pollution and work environments. Places with damp climates tend to be richer in molds and dust mites, whereas dry climates can harbor high levels of pollen. Oceanfront spaces tend to have lower pollen levels. Cold weather is known to bring on asthma attacks more often that warm weather. Pollution can irritate your body enough to set off allergies more frequently than before, and indoor issues like paint, dander, dust and mold can make your allergies worse, too.