Sneezy Southwestern Connecticut an American allergy capital

Spring has sprung in Southwestern Connecticut. With temperatures in the 70s this week, it’s finally beginning to feel like the warm weather might stick around for a while. But as the sunny skies shine, bees buzz, birds chirp and buds blossom, you might notice something else going on: Sneezing.

According to a new report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the Bridgeport area is one of the top 50 “allergy capitals” in America. With an above-average pollen score, average medicine utilization per patient and better than average number of board certified allergists per patient, the Bridgeport-Stamford Metropolitan Statistical Area (which covers the exact same ground as Fairfield County) is going to experience the  No. 48 worst allergy season of all metros in the nation.

It could be worse: We could be Jackson, Mississippi.

With a score of 67.35, the Bridgeport area is about 10 points higher than the national average. Meanwhile, Jackson Mississippi has a score of 100. The southern city moved up from No. 4 last year to unseat Knoxville, Tennessee for the top spot. During the same time period, Bridgeport dropped from No. 36 to No. 48, meaning this year’s pollen season is supposed to be a bit easier handle for those with allergies than last year’s.

According to the AAFA,15 of the top 25 cities are in the South, continuing a longstanding trend.

“Our spring listing usually features cities from the Southeast and deep south, and the No. 1 spot is almost always a southern city,” according to Mike Tringale, AAFA’s Vice President of External Affairs.

But there are still plenty of northern areas on the list, including nearby Springfield  Massachusetts, which jumped from No. 74 spots last year to No. 18. You can see the full ranking here, and check out how other Northeast cities fare here:

Maggie Gordon