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Dr. Jackie on iVIllage: Best and Worst Vacation Spots for Allergies and Asthma

Figuring out where to go may be the key in preventing triggers of your asthma or allergies and may keep them from ruining your vacation.

Best and Worst Spots for Pollen Allergies

Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet on iVIllageBest: If high pollen counts make your head hurt, head to the coast. According to Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet, M.D., founder of Family Allergy and Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Md., beaches are the best bet for people with hay fever. Sea breezes tend to tame pollen counts. But stay close to shore: Going even a half-mile inland can make allergies soar. Top spots to sun yourself without sniffling: Miami and San Diego. If the beach isn’t your thing, seek (much) higher ground. There’s less vegetation in the mountains and pollen from evergreens doesn’t usually pose a problem. Consider Denver or Salt Lake City.

Worst: Don’t even think about whistling Dixie. Pollen likes a warm, humid environment. Since southern states have plenty of rain and a longer growing season, you can expect to sneeze and sniffle from February to May if allergic to trees, and nearly year-round if grass sets off your symptoms. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), many of the worst places for spring allergies fall inside the eastern part of the Sun Belt, with southern states like Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia claiming top spots.

Dust Allergies? Make a Clean Break

Allergic to housecleaning? Aren’t we all! For people allergic to dust, household chores really can be irritating. Of course, you probably won’t be doing much cleaning on your vacation; but dust mites, the little critters that make grime so irritating, can bother you even while you’re on holiday. “Dust mites are the bane of the asthmatic traveler,” says Dr. Eghrari-Sabet. While it may feel like dust is inescapable, dust mites actually thrive in warm, humid places. Their ideal climate is 70 degrees or warmer, with humidity above 70 percent. Rather than drinking water, dust mites absorb moisture from the air, so they depend on a damp environment to stay hydrated. When humidity falls below 40 to 50 percent, dust mites begin to die off. However, because they’re so hardy, that process can take months.

Read the full article on iVillage here.

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