Ask An Outsider: Are San Antonio Allergies Actually the Worst?


San Antonio's pollen count makes the city among the worst in the nation for spring allergies. - WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikipedia Commons
  • San Antonio's pollen count makes the city among the worst in the nation for spring allergies.
Every year my noses closes up for a few months in the January-March range, and I start to assume I am dying. Is this normal? Are allergies this bad everywhere? -Mike A., Medical Center area

When I first moved to San Antonio a year and a half ago, someone gave me a welcome basket that included a motherload of Claritin-D. Cute.

At the time, I was skeptical and assumed that allergies vary from person to person more so than place to place. But, whatever, free pills.

The allergy pill gift represents a kind of perverted civic pride. Our allergies are really, really bad, much worse than anywhere. Kind of like how some football stadiums brag about being the loudest, how Lubbock probably thinks of itself as the flattest, Houston is the hottest and most humid. The rats in New York City are just a little bit better than the rats in Dallas. And nowhere could be as weird as Austin.

I get it, Mike A. When someone talks about their 103 degree fever last week, I want to mention I hit a 104 once. No one was ever sicker than I was. Perhaps it's evolution. If we survive San Antonio allergies, then our genes are worth carrying on.

(Top geneticists declined to comment on a potential link between allergy toughness and sex appeal.)

The truth is that Mike A. has hit on something. The American Sinus Institute reaffirms the findings linked above, noting that it is actually winter allergies that tend to be worst in Texas. San Antonio and McAllen are famous for fall allergies. So, spring sufferers must truly be the prince victims among us.

While we might not actually make the list of worst cities for spring allergies, the weird thing is that we really want to be on that list too.

Ask An Outsider happily solicits topics from you, the reader. Is there anything weird and local worth re-examining? Let the ultimate amateur in all things puro take a hack at it. Write to:

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