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An allergic reaction can be a minor inconvenience or it can be a life-threatening situation. For most people who experience allergies, the symptoms experienced are somewhere in the middle.
When allergies become a serious issue and affect day-to-day life, it’s time to do some self-reflection. Here are a few things to consider:
- Are the allergies affecting your work, home, or social life?
- Do you find yourself staying indoors to protect yourself from symptoms?
- Is your overall quality of life suffering due to allergies?
- How much money are you spending on medical costs due to your allergies?
As someone who has experienced allergies most of my life, I know the impact they can have on someone’s life. My allergies were present year-round and negatively impacted virtually every part of my life.
In the sections below, I’ll share the pros and cons of moving because of allergies. The answer is usually complex, thus, you should consider your quality of life, family needs, work opportunities, and expenses that you will incur due to a relocation.
I’ve Moved Because Of Allergies
Several years ago I attended university. I felt ill and I was always tired.
At that time, I didn’t know I had allergies although I definitely exhibited the tell-tale symptoms. I had rashes, a stuffy nose, and itchy eyes among others.
I didn’t know why I felt so bad and I searched for ways to improve my health without success.
After completing university, I stumbled on an opportunity to work abroad and accepted it. For the next several years I worked on another continent and thoroughly enjoyed my work, however, by the third year I began feeling ill again.
I returned to the United States without an improvement in my symptoms. Once I was back in the U.S. I took an opportunity to study at a university in the Mid-West.
I hoped moving there would bring relief but I ended up feeling worse. It was during my time in the Mid-West that I found out I had allergies (and I had a lot of allergies).
I spoke to my allergist about my symptoms and learned that my failure to address my allergies early in life most-likely resulted in acquiring additional allergies over time.
Similarly, my relocations for work and studies likely introduced new allergies to my immune system. Moving may have actually made my allergies worse.
Needless-to-say this news from my allergist was disconcerting!
Improving Allergies With A Move: It Depends What You Are Allergic To
Whether you improve your allergies by moving really depends on the substances you’re allergic to. This is why an allergy test is useful!
An allergy test for areoallergens (substances in the air) is incredibly useful and the test is not painful (my allergy test experience). Once you know what you’re allergic to, you can narrow down your options for relocation.
Symptoms that appear seasonally, such as early spring, are likely due to tree bloom, while other symptoms that remain year-round, are likely due to dust mites.
However, if you’re like me and allergic to many things, your symptoms may be confusing. I experienced allergies year-round because of trees (spring), grass (summer), weeds (fall), dust mites (all year), and mold (all year). That’s why I always felt bad!
If you’re allergic to insects, such as bees, a move to the city might be a great option compared to the pollen rich grasslands of the Mid-West. If you’re allergic to pollen, a move to a coastal community might be your best bet (I always had relief on the California coast).
Pros Of Moving Because Of Allergies
There are many good reasons to move because of allergies. Here is a list of my top reasons:
- Lower medical expenses
- Better quality of life (happier, healthier)
- More time outside
- Cleaner air
If you get relief, then moving is a no-brainer. But be careful, if your body is being introduced to new allergens it’s possible to gain new allergies (no one wants this).
Another reason to move is to save money on medical expenses. Tired of the pricey antihistames and cortisone creams? Living in an allergy-free location will keep money in your pocket, where it belongs!
If you feel relief in a new location, the difference will be felt in your health, attitude, and pocketbook. Your quality of life will increase and this alone is a wonderful reason to move!
Cons Of Moving Because Of Allergies
- Become allergic to additional allergies
- Limited job options
- More expensive communities (often along the coast)
- Expensive to move
- Live away from family and friends
- Allergen might be present in all locations
Let’s say you move to a new location because of allergies. You won’t know if you’re getting relief until several months later. Have your symptoms vanished? Are they still present?
You could become allergic to new allergens, making your situation worse. Depending on your career field, you may have limited job options if you’re confined to a specific location or region.
One of the most difficult challenges that people experience is being homesick. Are you willing to move away from friends and family? Are you good at making new friends and adjusting to a new environment?
If you’re allergic to tree pollen, it’s wise to check if the same tree is present in your new location (do this before moving!). In most cases, moving will not be the best option.
Best Locations To Move Because Of Allergies
Let’s take a look at the best locations to move because of allergies. Once again, your options depend on what you’re allergic to.
The best place to live if you have pollen allergies are near a large ocean. Oceans don’t produce pollen and there is usually less pollen on the sandy soil near beaches.
I’m partial to the South-Western U.S. because it’s a desert environment. This means there is generally less vegetation that is growing!
Florida offers plenty of coastal communities but the climate is more tropical, which means vegetation will grow year-round. If you’re on the beach the pollen from vegetation will be less of an issue.
The best place to live for dust mite allergy is in regions with low humidity. Dust mites are invisible to our eyes (only seen under a microscope) and thrive in humid environments.
Scientist have found that dust mites struggle to survive in arid climates and are less common in high-altitude locations like Denver or Albuquerque. Dust mites absorb all their moisture needs from the air so humidity plays a major role in their ability to survive.
In you are allergic to insects, rural areas are most-likely a bad option for you. Cities are usually polluted (which can exacerbate allergy symptoms), but they will have less insects such as bees.
Mold thrives in damp and dark areas. Thus, the more arid Western U.S. is likely a better place to live than the humid Southern U.S. where it rains year-round.
Mold will still be present in dry climates, however, the season may be shorter.
If you’re allergic to mold make sure you pay close attention to the inside of your home. Mold is commonly found in bathrooms, around refrigerators and sinks, and even in walls if there is a leak!
So, should you move because you have allergies? The answer is different for everyone.
Moving may be a good decision, but it could also make things worse over time. Your body could find relief in a new location or it could acquire new allergies, thereby compounding the allergy problem.
In addition, moving won’t be an option for everyone. Many people have family commitments or job opportunities that keep them in a specific location. Homesickness might make a move short-lived.
I tried to relocate due to my allergy symptoms. In the end, it didn’t work for me and I developed more allergies (almost 100 total).
I always found relief near the ocean and it’s my number 1 recommendation for people who are considering a move (you could also try allergy shots like I did).
It’s important to know what you’re allergic to prior to considering a move. Find a reputable allergist and request an allergy test. Simply knowing what you’re allergic to is a major step in finding relief.
Once you know whether it’s pollen, mold, dust, or pets, you can narrow down the location to move.