Can Relocating Help Allergy Sufferers?

This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI

If you suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever), there may be times of the year when you think moving to another region of the country might be preferable to suffering through another allergy season.

Not only is this drastic step most often not necessary, in many cases it won’t help at all.

Pollen, mold and grasses may differ from one location to another, but the allergens that trigger a reaction may follow you wherever you go. Additionally, if you relocate to another region, you may be exposed to a new set of allergy triggers. Thus you are trading one set of symptoms for another.

Expert Advice
Ideally, if you are seriously considering a move, check out the new environment by visiting there for two to four weeks and during different seasons to see if your symptoms improve.

Your chronic runny nose and nasal congestion may not be due to an allergy. At least one out of three people with these symptoms have rhinitis but not allergic rhinitis. Knowing which you have can make a difference in the quality of your life.

Before making a move to "get away from your allergies" consult with an allergist / immunologist. If you aren’t being treated by an allergist, find one in your area. An allergist has specialized training and expertise to accurately diagnose what is triggering your symptoms and how to manage them.

If the medications you are taking to treat your symptoms are not working, talk to your allergist. In many instances, allergy shots (immunotherapy) are a very effective long-term treatment approach.

Other tips for outdoor allergy sufferers include:

  • Seasonal allergy sufferers often find temporary relief by taking a vacation during the height of the pollen season to a more pollen-free environment such as near large bodies of water.
  • Pay attention to pollen counts in your area by subscribing to the email alerts available from the National Allergy BureauTM (NAB). The NAB provides the most accurate and reliable pollen and mold levels from approximately 78 counting stations throughout the United States, two counting stations in Canada and two counting stations in Argentina.
AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology