Which coast or ocean best for allergy sufferers?

I live in Georgia and my sinuses are driving me crazy. The doctor says move to the coast and live on the ocean. But which one? Does any one out there have an answer as to the best place to live if you have severe sinus infections all the time. I did live on the South Carolina coast once and I don’t believe I was sick at all due to my sinus. If anyone out there has an answer, plz get in touch. — T., Georgia

51 thoughts on “Which coast or ocean best for allergy sufferers?”

  1. Hi there,

    I’ve noticed the same thing myself especially when I was visiting Hawaii, specifically on the island of Oahu and I have never felt so better. It seems that it’s very productive having salt in the air that helps moisturize our sinuses. I have been to South Carolina too. I would think as long as you’re near ocean, either coast would just be great.

  2. I got asthma when I lived in Monterey California, so I don’t think it has anything to do with the salt air. I never had a problem with asthma in NY, Florida, or Texas but living on the coast caused so many problems. I had horrible asthma and allergy attacks there.

      1. Miles –

        I agree that trees are the culprit. I lived in both San Jose and the San Fernando valley and never had allergy/asthma issues. This year I feel like a Benadryl junkie because if I don’t take it as soon as I get up in the morning, I go thru 1/2 box of tissues by noon. All I get from the doctors is use a saline nose spray, which I do, but it really doesn’t help. I don’t know what the answer is but the health issues have really gotten to me this year.

        1. I just moved to Santa Cruz, California and my allergies and asthma have exploded. I lived in Las Vegas and 2 different islands most of my life and it’s never been this bad.

  3. I’ve had the opposite problem moving to the coast. I didn’t have allergies until I moved to the coast. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to “pond scum” and molds, which is quite prolific in the swampy, coastal environment. My advice is move to an area that contains the least amount of allergens responsible for you allergic response.

  4. Interesting comment Monterey– I lived in Santa Cruz oceanside for 22 years and developed allergies and asthma . but its the same area you are basically from.. still the American Lung Association rates that area an A on all levels for air quality …
    I live near Harrisburg, Pa now– one of the worst rated areas for asthma and I have been doing ok this past year… LOL but was
    getting worse until I moved out of an old house and into a very new apartment complex.

    Guess alot depends upon what allergens you have and are exposed to … maybe if all of us asthmatics could lived ON the ocean we’d be better off LOL (and maybe tax free?) GRIN
    Maybe someone should create a giant floating asthma-free ocean liner-city! LOL
    Dunno– might make a ton of bucks on that idea… grin

  5. I might as well be an expert on Asthma. My son has had it for 10 years, and. me, for 39 years. Being someone who goes to the beach (the florida panhandle) every year since I was born, and, my son every year, I can tell you it has nothing to do with the ocean whether your asthma symptoms act up or not. It can get very humid on the gulf and the air can get very nasty when you are having problems with your asthma. I am from Alabama but have lived in Atlanta since 2000, and, I can tell you my asthma is not half as bad here as it was in Alabama, although, my sons is pretty bad. Especially in the months of Sept, Oct, and some of November. He gets sick on the beach to with asthma if the air quality in the rooms we stay in is not right. I think its best to find out what you are allergic to and what seasons bring your worst symptoms and up your asthma regime during that time-period. No matter where you live.

  6. I live in Syracuse and I am suffering like nobodys business in the fall of the year. The sneezing is ridiculous and nothing works; not astelin; not claritin; not Zyrtek. I was suprised when they said that his place was one of the best places to live for people like us. Obviously they are not asking the people who are buying OTC products off the shelves!

  7. I am looking forward to relocating from Cortland, N.y. I have Rhinitis….hayweed here has made it worse. I am thinking of moving to Fl. around the Fort Meyers area or Tifton, Ga. which is an hour or so from Atlanta, Ga. I would greatly appreciate any information on these areas. Thank you. You may email me a reply at deevstaufer@yahoo.com

  8. lol I like how all Asthma and Sinus cases are *exactly the same*. You guys may be totes familiar with your particular allergies, but there are some sinus issues that call for salty air.

    Just go back to the South Carolina coast.

    1. Sinusitis and sinus attacks ARE NOT the same since sinusitis affects the sinuses, of which there are three sinuses, ethmoid, sphenoid, and maxillary. Asthma affects the bronchioles and lungs. I know because I suffer from both, plus allergies which aggravate both my sinuses and bronchioles and lungs. Henceforth I’m moving from Miami Valley in Ohio (the fourth to eighth worst place in U.S. to live with sinus/respiratory problems) and moving to the gulf coast in Florida, within a few blocks of the ocean. I have allergies to grass and ragweed, not trees, nor mold. Henceforth, the sea salt breezes are great for my particular type respiratory problems and being so close to the ocean, there is a lot of sand and not so much grass in yards. When I’ve gotten nebulizer treatments, it helps immensely and it’s saltwater mist so it makes sense that for asthma suffers to live right next to the ocean and for allergy sufferers, you do have to have allergy testing and find out exactly what you’re allergic to then go from there as far as where to live. I used to work in two ENT offices, internist’s office, and in two hospitals, oh, yes, and for a rheumatologist. Oftentimes, a central inflammatory process is responsible for such things as sinusitis, headaches, joint pain, arthritis, allergies/asthma, digestive disorders, etc. Then it gets tough because one thing you take affects the other medication(s) you are on and so forth. Overall, it’s a pain! literally

  9. I live in Mississippi and my asthma has been under control for many years. I can go on vacation to the beach; Gulf of Mexico; Gulf Shores, AL and my asthma bothers me the entire time I’m there. I was wondering what in the world it could be that I am so allergic to. I have not been allergy tested in about 20 years. Does anyone have any ideas? Is it the air, the sand, the ocean?

  10. Allergies are worse in the Southeast states- i.e. Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, etc. But along the coasts its much better. I feel tons better on the beaches on VA and NC than inland. Im not sure why. It might have to do with less pollen and ragweed, but also the salt air which is refreshing.

    The mountains are also better for allergies. But the piedmont and lowland is the worst.

    1. I so agree with everything you just said! I like on Kernersville, NC. Which is smack dab in the middle of the Piedmont. My allergies have been horrible since moving here from WV 18 years ago. I was allergy tested about 6 years and took allergy shots for 2.5 years. I just got allergy tested again and they said I am no longer allergic to anything. I didn’t have a reaction to the testing but I still feel horrible and have tons of allergic reactions mostly in the spring and some in the fall. I feel WONDERFUL when I am at any beach or near the coast.

  11. I am an allergy sufferer. In fact, I spent 18 months on long term disability from my job as a flight attendant because of recurrent sinus infections that kept me grounded. When I say recurrent, I mean constant. I would have one terrific infection per month, each time the recovery from it took longer to the point where I was only having approx. one week a month that I was semi-healthy enough to fly. After 4 major sinus surgeries to repair damage from so many infections, I am no better. My doctors (multiple because of being desperate for answers), have all told me the same thing…..St.Petersburg, Florida is the worse place for me to live! I notice that when I travel, I have a clear head in Salt Lake City, Utah, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. So, I don’t know if ocean or coastal living has anything to do with it. In St. Pete I live on the water….Tampa Bay is literally 5 steps out my back door. Seattle is coastal, Portland is fairly close to the Pacific and Salt Lake is totally inland. So, who knows! The coastal theory doesn’t fit my circumstance. All I know is, I’m packing my bags and moving my family out of Florida!

  12. i had chronic sinus infections and found a doctor who put me antifungal drugs which cleared up the infection once and for all so it was definitely fungal sinusitis in my case. But i still get allergies, just not infections. If it is a fungal/mould problem you have I’d suggest anywhere dry – don’t they say to take your sinuses to Arizona? I live in Akld NZ which is a nightmare for allergies because it is a very humid climate, I’m thinking of emigrating…

  13. Sea air is generally cleaner and less polluted except for large urban areas. Oceans and forests also give off negative ions and ozone that make us feel better. The west coast of Florida is evidently one of the better environments in the country. But with the high humidity level, rain, and storm damage many buildings have mold issues, many of which are unseen and can negate any positive effect. Desert climates can also be helpful for some but for example many areas in Arizona are terrible for allergies because people brought so many of their favorite plants trees and shrubs from around the country. If you have allergies and move it takes your body up to 3 years develop new ones. So visiting or moving to a different climate can make us feel good but eventually we can even get worse. The indoor environment is at least as important as the climate-it is estimated that up to 1/3 of residential structures have serious mold issues…

  14. hi there , i have never had allergy on my life intel i moved to atlanta and i lived there 10 miserable years of allergy ,but one day i went to africa for a vacation and you know even they have sand and dast every where over there , which i also have allergy too , i didn’t even sneeze at all because the weather is dry and i released that most locals over there have no allergy , i went to a doctor and asked him , why locals here don’t have allergy like we do in the states his answer was because we have a dry weather here , which worked for you , so i got it i moved to arizona and since then i have never used allergy med at all , i use to use zertec because claritine will do nothing to me . i hope my story helps some one . good luck .


  16. I had occasional mild seasonal allergies for 25 years living in Portland and Corvallis Oregon. The allergies disappeared after moving to Boston and didn’t come back for two years until I moved to Santa Cruz California. Now I have allergies—at home and at the office—year round.

    I don’t know what causes them, but spending long periods indoors (particularly when lying in bed at night) seems to aggravate them. Funny that someone should mention Oahu. I went on vacation there for a week recently. No allergies at all there.

    Perhaps it’s the wet, temperate climates of NoCal and the Pacific Northwest that encourage mold growth in houses and offices. To contrast, Boston’s climate is so extreme that the heat and AC are running almost continuously throughout the year. Also, many old buildings in Boston run on steam heat, the pipes of which probably keep the walls dry. That doesn’t explain Hawaii, though…

  17. I too have sinus rhinitis (?), allergies and asthma; lived in Anchorage, AK for 22 years and now live in Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC since 10/05. I have NEVER had so many ear, nose and throat problems until here. Was told that NC ranks pretty high as for the 50 states with mold problems. Recommended for allergy shots but NO guarantees there either:)

  18. The main problem with living on the coastline depends on whether the wind or draft comes from the ocean or mainland. As you can imagine, winds from the ocean would bring in salt, thus immediate relief. However, winds from inland would accumulate all the pollen from vegetation and other bothersome allergens which would be more intense. So, check the weather and winds that day and determine when you should expose yourself to a healing dose of good air while taking advantage of the wonders of the beach, sand and surf … or whether you should remain indoors!

  19. I have traveled so many places when I was younger due to my dad being in the military. I get bad allergies during season changes and summer when I was in Nebraska, Kansas and Conneticut. I now live in Alaska and even though there is more grass and trees I don’t have as much problem with my allergies like I did in the midwest. I did talk to my doctor once and he mentioned a place by water and less populated with polution. Well since I love the outdoors and the scenery here and my allergies aren’t as bad I stayed in Alaska. I’ve talked to some friends and co-workers and they said far Northwest and Northeast are best. States like Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Maine and so on. Hope this helps?

    1. I know this is an old post, but I want to share my experience in regard to the PNW. Allergy season duration is almost the entire year. I now am sick because of mold. I would not advise anyone with severe allergies to move to this area. However, the east side of the Cascades is supposed to be more tolerable.

  20. I grew up in Amarillo Texas and had seasonal winter allergies only. Then I moved to Tulsa and lived there for 12 years and same thing…winter seasonal…then I lived 3 years in St. Louis Mo. and had no allergies at all…Now after 7 years in Lubbock Texas with all the hot dry dirt storms, the massive drought, and the cotton dust and the fertilizers and defoliants every where I have never felt worse. I get rashes (contact dermatitis) have dry damaged skin and the meds and steroid shots are worthless….moving back to St. Louis to see if I can heal up…cold wet winters and hot wet summers…the humidity seems to be the key..

    1. Hii everybody my name is denis I am suffering from climate allergy so his the ocean or sea life is good for allergy or not I dont know

      1. Denis, first you should see an allergist to determine what you are allergic to, and follow their recommendations. When it comes to climate, it’s often a mixed bag, as you can see from the many comments on this post. What works for one may not work for another, and what is bad for one may be great for another. The hope is that, by comparing our situation with comments by others, we can gain an overall picture of what may work best for us. Even so, there are many variables. A climate may be helpful for a person’s allergies in one season and horrible in another. New allergies can develop after a person has lived in a different climate for awhile. Some allergens, such as dust mites, are present year-round wherever we go. But I do hope this blog will help you get some ideas of what may work best in your situation. Unfortunately, trial and error is often the only way to know for sure what helps, and even that can change over time.

  21. hi! Great blog! I traveled from rurals upstate ny each winter for 9 or 10 years avoiding winter..went to nc..sc..tenn..georgia..fl..both sides & middle fl..louisiana..alabama..tx..arizona..new mex..california..hawaii..bahamas..Paris.france. Tried all climates..have severe anaphalaxis food chemicals allrgies..astma…bronchitus..sinusitus…upperrespitiry..epsteinbarr/mono..fybromyalgia..found western states worse athma/bronchitus..az..nm.tx fine pollen no topsoilso fine silt &.pollen in air always sick there..atlantic side fl no relief..E.N.T. Had allergy map showd bttr 4 me gulf side in middle of state! We moved.. improvement..embracing salt life walking daily! Problems improved..but have to go outside to sea air..stayng in air conditong too long or too cold makes symptoms get worse! Also saunas & physio therapy helps dont know why?! Upstate ny & midwest have seen E.NTthere & told worst sinus problems develop if u vist there too long!! Must avoid cold weather & winter or symptoms return w vengence!

  22. My wife suffers terribly from allergies. I have heard a lot of pro’s and con’s about the ocean air. One person said that the air blowing from the ocean will be the cleanest becasue the ocean would have filtered out any pollen, Wind from inland would have all of the pollen concentrated by the time it reaches the ocean. Both sound correct. I live inland and even if the wind is blowing inland or out towards the ocean it will be loaded with pollen. I think living by the ocean would be better as there is a 50% chance that it will be free of pollen.

    1. That makes sense, Skyking. The real experts on environmental allergies in a particular environment are those who live year-round in that environment. That is why I started this blog, to collect stories of how allergies affect those who live in various areas of the globe. One of the things that continues to come up is the prevalence of mold problems near the ocean. If our wife is allergic to pollens, perhaps living near the ocean would help. On the other hand, if she is allergic to mold as well, the ocean might prove a very difficult place to live.

  23. I never had problems with allergies until moving to Missouri. I have been tested and know I need to move away from here. I am allergic to a host of grass and tree pollen, but mold is the killer. I am looking forward to retirement without a host of inhalers. This a blog made for me. Thanks for everyone’s input

    Dallas set off a terrible asthma attack (I could smell the mold in the air). It is fairly close to the Gulf.

    Cape May NJ, was wonderful – not a hitch, even when it rained. I do not want to live on the East Coast.

    Santa Barbara was terrible (there is always a leaf blower going somewhere).

    The Northern California Coast never caused a problem for me. I was in new homes while I was there.

    I would like to move to the PNW. I know the constant sprinkle of rain causes mold, but I am going to visit.

    My doc has told me high, dry desert (not Phoenix). But I love the ocean.

    1. Thank you for sharing this valuable information of how various climates have affected your allergies. I wish you success in finding a climate that you can comfortably retire in.

  24. I got Asthma in 1968 from chemicals in Vietnam/Cambodia.
    I have had extreme allergy’s sense being a small kid.
    I do good by Ocean,But do not have 500,000 or more to get a house.
    Loratadine helps…Just started that 2 months ago.
    I have a idea that should work for anyone.
    I need a multi-millionare to buy it.
    Came to me in a dream this morning.
    So if I have any luck I may be living in Hawaii or California coast.
    Sucks being sick…and hospitals :(
    If all goes good I may be helping 100 million people have a better life.
    Real surprised has not been made yet.

  25. this site has helped me to define right environment for managing my allergies. My worst time of year is being indoors during the winters in upstate ny. As I grow older my symptoms, primarily congestion from post nasal drip, have worsened so I’m going to concentrate on experiencing better outdoor environments during the winters such as ocean beaches and/or warmer dessert climates. Any specific suggestions would be considered. Thanks.

    1. Evesty, If you’ve not been tested by an allergist to determine what you are allergic to, that might be a good place to start. Many who say symptoms were worse after being cooped up indoors all winter have found they are allergic to dust dust mites after testing. Dust mites are a year-’round allergen, but in warmer seasons when people can be outdoors, they often find a little relief.

      1. Lois, I am allergic to all trees, plants, flowers, some foods, and gluten sensative. We now live in Ga. south of Atlanta. I was in the hospital 3 times this last Nov. and twice more after that. I do have Asthma, and COPD. We are trying to decide weather Florida or Texas would be a good place to move.
        Thanks Pam

  26. I lived on Long Island, NY for most of my life and never had problems with my sinuses. I also lived out west in Colorado, Texas, & Oklahoma and never had an issue in any of those states as well. I now live on the coast of Maine and have horrible trouble with weather related sinus problems. My son, who has asthma, has a hard time in the winter with cold induced asthma. WEBMD has a site that you can check for weather related sinus forecast. Just plug in a zip and you can see what areas are expected to have trouble. http://www.m.webmd.com/health-forecast/default.htm?feed=sinus-headache Hope that helps

  27. Yes Lois, I’m primarily allergic to dust mites. Question is where is best winter escape? Florida, Southwest, etc.? Thanks for this site.

  28. I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I had severe allergies as a small child in the late 1950s and had my tonsils removed at 4 years old because of constant ear infections. After that it was continual respiratory infections. When I was 17 we moved to SW VA and I had my very first headache. Fast forward to this past decade. Since living in my current home I’ve developed full-blown asthma and sarcoidosis, have supplemental oxygen, and my lactose intolerance is now an actual allergy. I’m much worse in winter and when it rains. I doubt I’ll live too many more years. My daughter wants to move my granddaughter to Charleston, SC because she’s severely allergic to pollen. I wonder if moving there will help me.

    1. Susan, it would probably be good to have a discussion with your doctor about whether a move will help. Depending on what you are allergic to, moving might help the asthma. Most people spend more time inside during the winter so I usually think about dust mites or mold or cats or other indoor allergens for those whose allergies are worse in winter. Rain or moisture promotes mold growth so it may be mold causing some of your problems. I’m told the smell in the air right before the rain arrives is mold. To me it doesn’t smell like mold, it’s a pleasant smell. You probably need to talk with your doctor about allergy testing if you haven’t been tested in recent years.

      1. Lois, I finally had allergy testing and tested positive for just about every tree and grass pollen. I tested negative for 3 types of mold, but my allergist said molds are toxins and he doesn’t test for toxins, which can make people very sick, even if they’re not actually allergic to them. I’m not allergic to cats, dogs, birds, birds, mice, or dust mites. So, plant pollens are my worst enemies. I also get terrible bronchospasms in the frigid winter air here, so I definitely need to move to a warmer, low pollen area. But where? Neither my husband or I want to move to the desert.

  29. I live in Pgh.,but would love to move where it’s warmer and low allergens.But from reading these posts,I wonder where thst might be?I’m allergic to trees here,pet dander,but oh well.Some seem affects by PNW ,where others are fine,etc.Any insight where I can go?

    1. Of course pets will be everywhere, Sherri, but you don’t have to have a pet in your home. Trees are everywhere also, but there are different varieties in different locations. Sometimes when people move to new locations, they eventually develop allergies to similar plants in the new area. Doesn’t always happen that way but something to be aware of. You can vacation in an area you are considering and research it for seasonal allergens. Start with our links on the sidebar for various areas to see how the area affects other allergy sufferers. Even vacationing in an area is not foolproof because allergens change with the seasons. Also you could develop allergies to the trees in the new area. But some have found success in moving to new locations.

  30. I’ve had allergies my entire life. I grew up in the Midwest and had year round sneezing, runny nose, and itchy ears and throat. Two years ago I moved to Rhode Island and my allergies have gotten worse. I now feel nauseated spring through fall, my throat aches, I’m constantly drowsy, and feel just plain sick. I got tested and the doc said I had no reactions, that I have no allergies at all. I obviously need s second opinion. After seeing how many of you have moved just to improve your symptoms, I feel motivated to really find out what is triggering move.

    1. I would want a second opinion also, Nichole. Finding out what you are allergic to and moving away from it doesn’t always help. Sometimes people develop new seasonal allergies in their new location or their indoor allergens (mold, pets, dust mites, etc.) follow them. Ask your doctor as well as friends and family who have lived in RI for a long time to recommend a reputable allergist. I hope things go well with you!

  31. I, too, am an allergy sufferer and seem to be most affected by tree pollens. I currently live in NC, which is basically a tree pollen infested state. I have been contemplating a move also because I stay sick with sinus infections a lot of the time and can’t get outdoors during the prettiest times of the year. If you Google “best places to live in the US for allergy sufferers,” it will tell you where to live, if it is, in fact, pollens you’re allergic to and not other triggers. good luck to all my fellow allergy suffering buddies!

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