What To Know About The 2022 Spring Allergy Season
It’s that time of year again. The air is warm, the flowers are blooming, and for many people, this can only mean one thing: It’s now allergy season. While spring can be a beautiful season, it’s also notorious for triggering severe allergy symptoms in countless individuals. It can be worse than usual, especially for those who live incertain parts of the country.
The state of Florida is a hot spot for allergy sufferers. So, is allergy season worse this year in the Sunshine state? Generally, pollen counts appear to be higher this year than usual. More residents have allergy-related pollen sensitivities than ever before, so residents should prepare to face a strong pollen season. In preparation for the annual allergy season, here are some important facts every Floridian should know.
When Does Allergy Season 2021 Start
Well, its technically *always* allergy season due to year-round offenders such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander, says Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. But some allergenspollens, specificallyare seasonal.
Tree pollen, for example, pops up in the spring , grass pollen arrives in the late spring , weed pollen is most prevalent in the summer , and ragweed pollen takes over from summer to fall , says Dr. Parikh.
And, as mentioned, climate change means allergy season begins earlier and lasts longer, adds Corinne Keet, MD, PhD, a professor and allergist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Specifically, the season has been arriving 20 days earlier than it did in 1990, and contains at least 20 percent more pollen, the New York Times reported.
To get super-specific, Pollen.com has a National Allergy Map that provides an up-to-date allergy forecast in different areas around the country and an Allergy Alert app that gives five-day forecasts with in-depth info on specific allergens, helping you decide if you should stay indoors that day. You should also note that windy, warm, and sunny days can increase levels of pollen turnout, while drizzling or rainy weather is actually associated with no or lower levels of seasonal pollen, explains Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.
The Trees Of Tree Pollen Season In Florida
While grass pollen in Florida and other allergens are gearing up after winter, the award for the worst spring allergies in Florida goes to the trees. Interestingly, its pine trees which tend to produce the most pollen and not flowering trees .
The following trees are the main culprits during tree pollen season in Florida:
- American Elms
- River Birch
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What Are Fall Allergy Symptoms
Fall allergy symptoms are not much different than what you would expect at other times of year. Most people refer to their symptoms as hay fever, while doctors refer to it as seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Whatever you call it, symptoms include:
- Itchy, watery, and stinging eyes.
- Coughing and wheezing, potentially leading to asthma for sufferers.
- Scratchy throats and excessive saliva
- Upset stomach
- Life-threatening asthma attacks in extreme cases.
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When Is Allergy Season In Florida
Usually, allergies come and go with the seasons due to sprouting plants and pollen in the air. Spring tends to be the worst season for allergy sufferers as flowers and plants are coming back to life after a long winter.
In Florida, though, allergy season lasts approximately ten months of out of the entire year. Since the weather is warm year round, flowers and plants bloom and produce allergens prolonged periods of time.
How To Reduce Allergy Symptoms
- Limit your time outdoors during the day, and opt to only go outdoors in the evening as pollen counts are substantially lower come nightfall
- Wear a mask if you intend on mowing the lawn or partaking in garden work
- Do not plant flowers that will flower, as the pollen in them will make you ultra sensitive to their allergies
- Clean your HVAC system on a regular and consistent basis as the filter can collect a plethora of allergy-causing agents
Start Could Be As Much As 40 Days Earlier Due To Global Warming Study Says
Future allergy seasons will start more than a month earlier and be much more intense due to climate change, according to a new study.
And because spring is already in the air, so is pollen.
Dr. Sandra Hong, an allergist at Cleveland Clinic, said pollen season usually begins mid-February, but a new study published in Nature Communications stated that by the end of the century the season of high pollen counts could begin as much as 40 days earlier than previous decades because of global warming.
Researchers also said annual pollen counts could climb by up to 250%.
Hong said shes already seeing allergy seasons change.
Right now we are in the high pollen counts with trees, Hong said. Our pollen seasons are lasting longer. Weve definitely have had a couple years where our allergies are the worst I can remember in the last 20 years.
Thats why she said its important to be aware of your allergies now when symptoms are starting.
Look at pollen counts before going outdoors, and if you have a pet that goes outside, dont bring them into your bed.
Additionally, if you know you suffer from allergies, consider using your medicine now.
If we know that we have allergies in the spring time, sometimes the nasal steroids can be really effective and our No. 1 treatment for allergies and usually well use the antihistamines as needed for itching and sneezing types of symptoms, Hong said.
Avoid Outdoor Activities If Pollen Counts Are High
Stay indoors when pollen counts are high usually in the morning and on windy days. Wear sunglasses and a hat to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes or hair when you go outside.
You can also minimize your exposure to pollen by wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth. In addition, avoid activities that increase your exposure to pollen, such as mowing the lawn, walking in the woods, or gardening.
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Tampa Bay Allergies: What You Need To Know
When you have an allergy it means your bodyâs immune system sees harmless substances like plant pollen, dust mites, mold or pet dander, as infectious invaders. Your antibodies start trying to fight off the allergen, treating it like a virus, which can trigger many different symptoms that you experience as allergies.
Many people are drawn to the Tampa Bay area, and Florida in general, for its beautiful weather. With temperatures that rarely drop below 60 degrees, people can enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities year-round. Unfortunately, the same features that make Tampa Bay so appealing also make it difficult for those that suffer from allergies.
Be Proactive To Stay Active
According to allergy specialists, the key to basking in all of Floridas outdoor glory at any time of year is knowing how to keep allergy symptoms under control both before and during allergy season.
Thats why experts strongly recommend that people go for allergy testing to discover the types of pollen can trigger allergy problems for them. Then, its possible to track the current pollen count to minimize exposure and be prepared with the required allergy medicine at high-risk times of the year.
If pollen poses too much of a problem, allergy shots are available and can greatly improve allergy symptoms. Yet there are also allergy medicines on the market that can help you handle allergy season. Experts advise beginning allergy shots or taking allergy medicines before allergy season starts for best results.
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When Does Florida Allergy Season End
Are you new to Florida? Even if youre a long-time Florida resident, if you have never dealt with allergies in the past you could be getting very frustrated. You hear about seasonal allergies all the time, and most parts of the country have the worst pollen counts in the spring. But in Florida things are a bit different. Because of the tropical climate, Floridians can expect to experience allergy symptoms for much longer than the average American.
But when will the madness end? After all, you may have been experiencing allergy symptoms since February when pollens first start to fly in the area. Unfortunately, even though the temps are about to get a bit cooler, allergy season is still going to be around for a couple more months.
In fact, the average allergy season in Florida runs from February to November. You may not have symptoms that entire time, because the specific pollens and other allergens that trigger symptoms change with the months. Patients who are very sensitive to all types of pollens and molds are likely to have symptoms consistently almost the entire year.
With only a few months respite, patients with seasonal allergies should seek out treatment in the form of medication management. Contact us today to schedule your appointment so that we can help you address your chronic symptoms.
Don’t Bring Pollen Inside The House
After a time spent outdoors, change your clothes immediately. Don’t forget to shower right away and before you go to bed so pollen won’t settle in your bedding. Furthermore, you should avoid sitting on couches and beds with potentially pollen-laden clothing. Keep windows closed at home or in your car and use the air conditioner instead.
Last but not least, avoid drying your clothes outside if you can. If you have to dry clothes outside, shake them out thoroughly to remove pollen before bringing them inside.
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Tips And Ideas To Reduce Allergies
Allergies are the result of an allergic reaction to pollen or mold spores in the air, and can seem inescapable. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your exposure and help make your spring, summer, and fall a comfortable experience!
- If you exercise outdoors, wait until evening to do your routine pollen counts are lower towards night!
- If you need to mow the lawn or do outdoor yard work, consider wearing a dust mask.
- If you have ragweed allergies, remove the plants in your yard before they bloom to help cut down on the pollen in your area!
- Clean your HVAC system regularly, as dust can build up over time and create irritants.
- Purchase a HEPA filter or air filtration unit these can really reduce the amount of allergens in your home!
What Causes Allergies In Florida
The main cause of allergies in Florida is ragweed, as long summers lead to allergies due to foliage having the optimal weather to grow.
Apart from allergies to plants, mold is the second largest cause of seasonal allergies in Florida during the fall season. Mold allergies are unlike pollen allergies because when the temperature drops, mold simply becomes benign . Where there are humid and moist conditions, you can count on mold thriving as it is the perfect environment for it to grow. If you are sensitive to allergies, ensure that you never leave water standing, and try to make your home as dry as possible.
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Pollen Allergy Testing And Treatment
The good news is that you dont have to suffer through tree pollen season. Be sure to contact an allergy and asthma specialist for a formal allergy evaluation, preferably before the season begins or very early in the season. You may already know that you have a seasonal allergy, but do not know just which pollen you are allergic to. Allergists can determine the specific pollens that are causing your problems and can tell you when that pollen is expected to be in the air.
Your allergist will take a detailed history of any reactions youve had, then if indicated, he or she can test for allergies to identify the culprit allergen and determine the best course of treatment.
The most common method of testing for pollen allergies is a simple skin prick test. At our office, we use a very fine stylet that is lightly pressed against the skin. The stylet introduces individual pollens and other allergens to the immune system in your skin. If youre allergic or sensitive to a particular allergen, a small pink raised bump will appear within minutes where the skin prick test was placed.
For some people, a blood test may be the best option to determine your allergic sensitivity. A small amount of your blood is taken and tested to check for antibodies that respond to specific allergens. Depending on your allergy test results, we can offer guidance about the best and most direct course of action for your symptoms.
Are Allergies Bad In Melbourne Florida
Melbourne, Florida isnt ranked in the Allergy Capitals report, but we can look at nearby Orlando to get a sense of how bad seasonal allergies are in Melbourne.
For spring allergies, Orlando was ranked as the 38th most challenging place to live in 2021. In 2020, Orlando was ranked 31st. In 2018, it ranked 60th. In 2016, Orlando ranked 87th.
For fall allergies, Orlando was ranked as the 38th most challenging place to live in 2021. In 2020, Orlando was ranked 32nd. In 2018, it ranked 63rd. In 2016, Orlando ranked 81st.
Overall, Orlando was ranked as the 38th most challenging place to live with allergies out of the USs 100 most-populated metropolitan areas in 2021.
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Dust And Dander Allergies
If youve ever come home and immediately felt like your eyes were watering or itchy and your throat and chest felt congested, youve probably got an allergy to dust and dander. Dust builds up from debris from plants, soil, insect secretions, animal matter, fibers, and even sloughed off human skin cells. This layer creates a fine powder that causes an allergic response once its disturbed and becomes airborne. Dander comes from animals salvia, with a sticky protein as the culprit. It is typically associated with homes with pets, but can actually be picked up anywhere and deposited around your home while on shoes, clothing, hair, and other absorbent materials.
The Complete Guide To Florida Fall Allergy Season 2021
Most people in Florida look forward to autumn with its pumpkin spice lattes, mild sun and cooler air. But if youre one of the estimated 40 million fall allergy sufferers in the U.S., this time of year can be very unpleasant.
It doesnt have to be that way, though
With the proper precautions and correct allergy treatments, you can enjoy all that autumn has to offer.
While most people often associate allergies with spring and the pollen produced by flowering plants, fall can be the worst season to deal with allergies. As the weather here in Jacksonville cools, plants tend to release more pollen and the moist, cool air leads to increased mold growth on leaves and other surfaces.
Combined, these factors can trigger severe allergic reactions.
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Do You Dread Going Outside Because You Have Pollen Allergies
Allergies in Florida are seen most often in children, but actually, allergies can develop or disappear at any time or any age. Sometimes an allergy that you seem to lose, will return years later. Thatâs because allergies are the result of a chain reaction that starts with your genetics, triggers your immune system, and results in unpleasant, sometimes dangerous, symptoms.
Dealing With Pollen Allergies
It is impossible to avoid pollen altogether, but keeping doors and windows closed on days with a high pollen count will help. You may notice pollen on the surface of your car each morning. Pollen is highest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., but you may feel it before seeing it, as it is highly allergenic.
If you know your triggers, you can help prevent allergy symptoms with medications or by limiting time spent outdoors. If you cant get control over your bodys immune system, consulting with an allergist will help.
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Sniff Out Ways To Survive Allergy Season
How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Allergies Or Covid
Before you stress out, know that there’s one positive aspect when it comes to allergens in the year 2021: “Masks mean less inhalation of pollen through the nose or mouth, and that may translate to decreased symptoms for some sufferers,” explains Manisha Relan, MD, a board-certified allergist. Noted!
That said, if you’re worried about telling the difference between symptoms, whenever they do arise, listen up: The COVID and allergy symptoms that typically overlap are headaches, wheezing, and sore throat. It’s also possible to experience nasal congestion, a runny nose, and sneezing with COVID, too, though these are more commonly allergy symptoms. A dry cough, shortness of breath, and loss of smell, are all likely COVID-19 symptoms, though there’s always the possibility that these are the side effects of allergies.
Overall, though, if you’re having trouble telling if your symptoms are allergies or COVID, your best bet is to check in with a doctor’s office or urgent-care center.
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