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Why Oregon Has the Worst Allergies in the Country


The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the nation's most beautiful landscapes  as well as its worst pollen count. We explain what greenery is to blame and what you can do to breathe more easily.

For those with allergies, early summer is always a difficult period. But if you're in the Pacific Northwest — particularly in Oregon — you might have earned the right to complain a bit more than the rest of us. 

Popular website,, tracks cities around the country and ranks the presence of airborne pollen on a 0-12 point scale. Out of the 28 Oregonian cities ranked, six were tied for the worst possible ranking, each receiving a 10.8 out of 12, according to KPTV. While not among the six, Portland received a still alarming 9.1.

Take a look at this map forecasting national allergy information and you'll see the state is engulfed in a yellow blob, indicating the region’s exceedingly high rates of pollen.

Grass and Trees and Weeds, Oh My!

If you're reading this in Oregon, you're probably all too aware of this situation. But what is it about the Northwest that makes summertime so uncomfortable for the 10-30% of the population suffering with watery eyes and running noses?

If you're seeking a culprit, look no further than the seemingly innocuous trees and grass life around you. Birch and alder, trees native to Oregon, are particularly guilty, according to WebMD. Pine trees, which can coat surfaces (say, car windshields) in a layer of pollen, are actually not the worst offenders. The heavier grains of pine pollen mean less air-time and more trips to the car wash. 

Grasses reach peak pollination in May and June, with Bermuda, orchard, wheat, and fescue grasses the main perpetrators. Summer is also weed season, with plantain weed causing the most trouble for the allergy-afflicted.

The Fresh Air Cure


In light of this, what is an Oregonner to do (or a Husker, Hoosier, or Buckeye, for that matter)? We've collected the most tried-and-true cures for summertime ear, nose, and throat irritation for you right here:

  • Restrict outings to mornings and evenings, as allergies are at their worst in the middle of the day.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed.
  • Wear a dust mask when mowing, or avoid freshly mown lawns altogether.
  • When it comes to allergies, cleanliness is next to godliness. Vacuum carpets and wash your bedsheets regularly during pollen season.
  • Brace for outdoor adventures with an antihistamine.
  • For the cleanest indoor air, enlist the aid of an air purifier, such as a Rabbit Air, to trap and reduce airborne allergens, providing much-needed relief. 

Allergies definitely put a damper on the summer festivities, but RabbitAir purifiers will have you feeling less miserable and enjoying the sun in no time! With filters that can be specialized to deal with pollen, dander, or odor from secondhand smoke, the only thing between you and a sniffle-free summer is a call to Rabbit Air.

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