Discover the Mississippi Town with the Most Out-Of-Control Allergies

Written by Patrick Sather
Updated: May 26, 2023
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Every year, seasonal allergies wreak havoc on the lives of millions of Americans. Pollen and other irritants cause a host of annoying symptoms, including weepy eyes, runny noses, coughing, and sneezing. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) captures data on the prevalence of allergies in U.S. cities. Its annual report includes details on allergen scores, the use of allergen medication, and the availability of allergists and immunologists. It scores cities based on these factors to determine the top allergy capitals in the United StatesIn 2023, Jackson ranks as the top city in Mississippi in terms of allergies. Let’s take a look at seasonal allergies in Mississippi and how it compares to other cities across the country. We’ll also answer some questions about peak allergy season and what plants tend to cause allergies in the state. 

 In 2023, Jackson ranks as the top city in Mississippi in terms of allergies.

©Sean Pavone/

5 Amazing Allergy Facts

  • An estimated 100 million or more Americans suffer effects from various allergies each year. 
  • Nasal allergies cost between $3 and $4 billion per year, while food allergies cost around $25 billion per year. 
  • Non-Hispanic Black children and non-Hispanic white children are more likely to have seasonal allergies than Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian children. 
  • Although allergies often run in families, you cannot predict if a parent will transfer their allergy to their children. 
  • Allergies rank as the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. 

What Is an Allergy?

An allergy occurs when your body elicits an immune response to the presence of a foreign substance that does not affect most people. This substance can take the form of insect venom, latex, food, pollen, dust, or pet dander. For people with allergies, the body produces antibodies to try to attack the foreign substance, even when the substance isn’t harmful. These antibodies can cause a range of symptoms, including inflammation of the skin, sinuses, digestive system, or airways. Inflammation of these various systems can lead to itchy or red skin, shortness of breath, runny nose or eyes, nausea, low blood pressure, or sneezing. More serious symptoms include anaphylaxis, which can lead to severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constricted airways, heart rhythm disturbances, pulmonary edema, and even death. 

What Is a Seasonal Allergy?

A seasonal allergy is an immune reaction to allergens that emerge at certain times of the year. Also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever, seasonal allergies typically occur during spring, summer, or fall. Common causes of seasonal allergies include pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses. These types of allergies differ from perennial allergies, which include allergens that are present-year round, such as dust or pet dander. Molds can classify as seasonal or perennial allergens, depending on the type. Generally speaking, tree pollen is most abundant in spring, grass pollen is most abundant in summer, and weed pollen is most abundant in fall. However, regional differences can affect this timeline. 

While not typically as severe as food or insect allergies, seasonal allergies can still cause various immune responses. Common symptoms of seasonal allergies include an itchy or runny nose, watery or red eyes, sneezing, coughing, postnasal drip, or fatigue. 

What Are the Worst Months for Allergies in Mississippi?

Mississippi remains relatively warm year-round, with temperatures rarely dropping below 40 °F, even in the winter. Its high temperatures, coupled with its humid climate, mean that its allergy season can last a long time. In fact, depending on the year, the allergy season can last year-round. 

From January to April, tree pollen causes the vast majority of seasonal allergy symptoms in Mississippi. Trees that produce irritating pollen include history, walnut, oak, box elder, maple, ash, mulberry, cedar, and willow. Next up is grass allergen season, which typically peaks between May and August. That said, the grass pollen season can last exceptionally long in Mississippi. Common species that produce allergens include rye, Bermuda, fescue, and orchard grass. Finally, the weed pollen season usually runs from August through November. Weeds in the state that produce allergens include the troublesome ragweed, marsh elder, and amaranth. 

How Does Jackson, Mississippi, Rank in Terms of Allergies?

According to the survey conducted by the AAFA for 2023, Jackson ranks 77 out of 100 cities in terms of allergy problems, with a total score of 66.77 out of 100. Thankfully, 2023 represents a better-than-average year, historically speaking, when considering overall pollen levels and the availability of allergen specialists in the city. However, the same can’t be said for allergen medicine use, as the AAFA expects allergen medication use to remain at the same level as in previous years.  

How Do You Treat Seasonal Allergies?

Allergen experts track pollen levels using sophisticated sensors. With the aid of these sensors, they’ve learned that pollen counts typically rate highest in the morning. As a result, experts recommend avoiding exposing yourself to pollen at this time. Other preventative measures include keeping windows closed if you’re in a car or at home and wearing protective gear like goggles and masks. If you cannot avoid pollen, then your best option is to treat allergy symptoms. Common treatment options include steroid and antihistamine sprays and decongestants, as well as anti-inflammatory medications. You can reach out to an allergen expert to discuss alternative treatment options. Available methods may include allergy shots or immunotherapy treatment. 

Woman with allergy symptoms
Symptoms of seasonal allergies include a runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion.


How Do Other Cities in Mississippi Rank Regarding Seasonal Allergies?

Outside of Jackson, no other city in Mississippi ranks in the top 100 most populated U.S. cities. The AAFA limits its study only to cities with populations that fall within the top 100 in terms of population. As a result, the AAFA does not include any data on allergy prevalence or medication use in other Mississippi cities. That said, given Mississippi’s geographic location and climate, other cities in Mississippi likely experience similar rates of allergic reactions as the residents of Jackson. 

What City In the United States Has the Worst Allergies?

Seasonal allergy impacts can vary from year to year based on various factors, including weather, growing conditions, temperature, air quality, and other factors. In 2023, Wichita, Kansas, topped the list of United States cities with the highest allergen scores. Its total score of 100/100 dwarfed the second-place finisher, Dallas, Texas. Moreover, Wichita’s pollen ranking topped the list in all three major categories, including tree pollen, grass pollen, and weed pollen. This makes sense, considering that the area is surrounded by large tracts of grass, weeds, and trees. Wichitans also use allergy medications and allergen specialist services more than residents of other cities. 

Where is Jackson, MS on a Map?

Mississippi’s capital city is Jackson, which is home to several historic sites related to the civil rights movement along the Mississippi Freedom Trail. Notable locations include the Medgar Evers Home Museum and the Mississippi State Capitol building. In LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science features nature trails and an aquarium amid lush greenery.

Here is Jackson, MS on a map:

The Featured Image

Mississippi flag on flagpole. MS flag fluttering in the wind.
Mississippi flag on flagpole. MS flag fluttering in the wind. USA. 3D render.
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