If you live anywhere in Oklahoma and haven't noticed a tickle in your sinuses in the last few weeks, congrats to you. I don't normally have spring allergies but even I'm struggling with them the last few days.

A scratchy throat, randomly runny nose, big sneezes, and itchy eyes are the most common complaints right now as trees and grass wake from their winter slumber. It's not even a local issue, it's nationwide... but there are a few places that are worse for allergies than others.

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Oklahoma is near the center of all of it.

According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, Tulsa and Oklahoma City ranked #5 and #6 on the list of worst places to live with allergies in 2023, but it goes a lot deeper than that.

Oklahoma is sandwiched between two even worse places for spring allergies.

The #4 worst place for allergies right now is Dallas, Texas. #1 is Wichita, Kansas. Now if you're not familiar with your Oklahoma geography, Oklahoma is right in the middle of all of these allergy shenanigans.


No wonder we're all so miserable right now. The heartland always seems to get the worst of conditions for allergy sufferers, and there's nothing we can do about it.

Honestly, I asked my doctor a few years ago what I could do about my fall allergies. He said "Move to Oregon." While it didn't feel like helpful advice, he wasn't wrong.

Most of the plains states, particularly the southern plains state are located in the perfect spot for North America's pollen to flow. The jet stream picks them up as they roll through the Pacific Northwest, a quick trip over the Rocky Mountains and then they push down into Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas ahead of our normal severe weather.

The pollen that's bothering you today could have been spawned a week ago in Washington or Idaho... That's also why the allergy season lasts so long in the heartland. As it warms up to the north, the jet stream will eventually bring Alaska and Canada's pollen to us through June and early July. I suspect this is the reason so many Okies look forward to the brutal summers here.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Just about the time you get to feeling normal, those first few cold fronts of fall start pushing the fall-spawn pollen down to us again as the north goes frozen. Double-whammy every year.

Even worse, everyone responds to popular medications differently, so it's kind of a "take two and call me tomorrow" sort of way to find a little relief in your own life.

The best advice I ever got on the topic was to stay inside as much as possible. Clothes off and shower first thing when you get home. When you can eventually get back outside, enjoy it while it lasts.

Will it get better? Absolutely.

At least the spring allergy season is relatively mild and short compared to fall. You'll make it through.

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