Allergies in Florida

By: John Hinson | On: October 1, 2015

Sunny weather, beautiful plants, and warm temperatures are all a part of daily life in Florida. We don’t have to worry about snow storms or ice during the winter, or droughts during the summer like other regions of the US. While we’re lucky to have almost perennially good weather, there is a downside to our climate. Allergies in Florida are something that many Floridians have to endure throughout the year.

When is Allergy Season in Florida?

Allergies In Florida - Florida Medical ClinicMost allergy seasons in the US are during spring and summer, with spring being the worst as plants are blooming.

With our warmer weather and long summers, flowers can bloom longer and continue producing pollen long after their Northern cousins have stopped. In fact, allergy season in Florida can last well into fall!

Allergy sufferers may be in for an uncomfortable year if winter weather is warm and dry; this combination can create conditions so that allergies may potentially last for the whole year!

Causes of Fall Allergies

While grasses and flowers are allergy culprits during the spring and summer, ragweed is the most common cause of fall allergies in Florida. Long summers can lead to prolonged grass allergies, as grasses can grow longer and continue to produce pollen.

Mold allergies are another major cause of symptoms during the fall. Unlike pollen, which dies during frost, mold goes dormant and resumes growing when the temperature warms. There are two main categories of mold allergies: indoor and outdoor.

Wet or humid areas are the perfect environment for indoor mold, especially basements and kitchens. Outdoor mold thrives in damp leaf piles, compost or grass piles, and on rotting logs. Allergy symptoms occur when the individual comes into contact with mold spores, or inhales them.

Signs and Symptoms of Fall Allergies in Florida

Allergy Season Ahead - Florida Medical CenterThe symptoms of allergies can be pretty uncomfortable regardless of the time of year! Look out for the following signs if you think you may be having an allergic reaction to a high pollen count or mold.

Ragweed and Grass Allergy Symptoms Include…

  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Asthma attacks (in severe cases)
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion
  • Trouble Sleeping

Mold Allergy Symptoms Include…

  • All the same symptoms as grass and ragweed allergies
  • Hives
  • Swollen Eyelids
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Wheezing

In many ways, allergies have similar symptoms to colds and the flu! Since cold and flu season is nearly upon us, your family’s sniffling and sneezing may be due to illness. However, symptoms lasting over two weeks may indicate that allergy problems are afoot.

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!

General Allergy Tips

  • 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!

Mold-Specific Tips

  • Don’t hang your wet clothing indoors to dry; this can make mold allergies worse.
  • Reduce the amount of mold in your home! Keep basements, bathrooms, and any other room which retains humidity well-ventilated by opening windows frequently, or purchasing a dehumidifier.
  • Heat helps mold grow, so setting up a heater alone can make the problem worse!
  • If you have a carpeted room which is prone to mildew or mold, replacing the flooring with wood or tile may be a good idea!
  • Regularly clean garbage cans, sinks, and water-based appliances with a bleach solution to keep mold from building up and spreading.

With proper precaution and care, you can minimize the discomfort that allergies bring to the Tampa area from Spring through Fall!

Florida Medical Clinic

If you’ve tried everything to reduce your exposure to allergens and nothing seems to be working, visit Florida Medical Clinic! Our Allergy, Asthma & Immunology providers are very experienced in helping find the right treatment plan for every patient. Make an appointment online today so you can breathe easy this fall!