Neighborhoods around the country are starting to see and hear the sounds of spring. From later sunsets to the chirping of birds, it’s a time of year most people can enjoy. Except, perhaps, for people with spring allergies. For them, spring means flowers and pollen, and the constant sound of a lawn mower mixing freshly cut grass into the air. 

According to a recent CivicScience survey, spring allergies affect 68% of the adult population in America. Among those afflicted with spring allergies, 24% consider their symptoms to be severe rather than moderate.

Understanding consumers with seasonal allergies starts with where they live and how they choose to treat their symptoms, if they choose to treat them at all. 

First, those with severe allergies tend to live in the southern region of the United States (43%). Nineteen percent of those with severe allergies live in the northeast, which is slightly more correlated than those with moderate or no allergies at all.

Secondly, among those who said spring allergies applied to their experience with the season, 64% are likely to purchase an allergy medication to treat the symptoms. At the same time, only 25% of U.S. adults with spring allergies take medicine on a regular basis (every day).

Despite the significant number of people in America suffering from spring allergies, as well as the similar percentage who plan to buy medication, most allergy sufferers will never take medicine or only take it a few times throughout the season.

Chain pharmacies are the most frequented destination for people looking to buy over-the-counter allergy medicine.

Those who reported a likelihood to purchase an allergy medicine this year show a greater inclination than those not likely to buy medicine to make their purchase at a big-box store. Because the data collected was rebased to exclude those without spring allergies, “unlikely buyers” are defined as those who have allergies to some extent but don’t plan on making a purchase as a result. Perhaps they have purchased allergy medicine in the past but don’t plan to this year, or perhaps they don’t usually purchase allergy medicine but there is a slight chance they could this year.

Consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely than older age groups to say they will buy allergy medicine online. Older generations are more likely to head to membership clubs and big-box stores to treat their allergies. Chain pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens are the most popular destination for allergy sufferers of all generations.

Brand Names

The most popular brand consumers choose to alleviate allergy symptoms is Benadryl. Claritin is the second-most trusted brand for treating allergies, followed by Zyrtec. The option of “other” was selected by 16% of survey respondents indicating trust in a lesser-known OTC brand, or possibly a prescription remedy.

Health, Wellness, and the Environment

It’s worth noting that CBD use shows a minor correlation with spring allergy experiences. People who say they haven’t used CBD products are less likely to suffer from spring allergies. They are also less likely to say their symptoms are severe.

When compared to other people with spring allergies, those who take medicine several times a week (but not every day) have the highest rate of cannabis use. People who never take medicine for their spring allergies are predominantly non-users of cannabis.

The age difference among people with reported allergies (see earlier age chart) helps to explain the connection between cannabis and spring allergies. Younger generations reported more severe spring allergies than their older counterparts reported. Younger generations also have a significantly higher rate of using and experimenting with cannabis. This correlation could also suggest that allergy sufferers are more likely than non-sufferers to try alternative solutions for health issues.

In addition, people who suffer from spring allergies are more likely than those who don’t to say they adjust their lifestyle to benefit the environment. The respondents without spring allergies were significantly more likely to say they made zero changes to how they live in order to accommodate environmental needs.

These correlations don’t claim that CBD users are more likely to have allergies or people with allergies love the earth more than those without allergies; rather, the data highlight the nuances that can exist regarding an individual’s perception of health, wellness, and the environment, depending on what health conditions they might struggle with.

It’s possible that those with severe or moderate allergies pay attention to their health and environment more out of necessity. They are more likely than people without allergies to have one person they consider as their doctor, and they are also more likely to have visited the doctor several times in one year.