How Seasonal Allergies Can Affect You
Allergic rhinitis, also known as seasonal allergies, is a condition in which the body’s immune system reacts to various allergens. As a result, it causes inflammation and symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and congestion.
In Florida, pollen counts are high during the spring months of April through June and again late summer through early fall (August through October). This means that many Floridians suffer from seasonal allergies every year. Knowing how these allergies affect your everyday life can make living with seasonal allergies a little easier.
In Florida, Allergic Rhinitis is Common
Allergic rhinitis is the most common allergic disorder, affecting as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children in the United States. People with this condition develop difficulty breathing due to inflammation in the nose, throat, and mouth caused by inhaling pollen or other allergens. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and itchy throat.
Symptoms can last for days or weeks but typically subside when exposure to allergens ceases (such as during seasonal changes). In severe cases, your doctor may recommend desensitization therapy or immunotherapy shots that reduce your sensitivity over time so you can manage symptoms without medication.
Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis
Sneezing, coughing, and nasal congestion are some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis. If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies in Florida, you’ve likely experienced these symptoms as well:
- runny nose – This symptom is caused by excess mucus in the nasal passages. It can accompany a stuffy head, which headaches and other pains may accompany.
- watery eyes – This is another common symptom associated with swelling in the sinuses due to allergic reactions. While your eyes might feel itchy at times, they might also become red and irritated, and watery if there is any discharge from them that makes them feel heavy.
- sneezing – Sneezing is often associated with seasonal allergies because it’s one way for people suffering from it to try getting rid of what they think might be happening inside their bodies. However, this isn’t always effective since pollen particles can remain even after sneezing several times within an hour or so after being exposed to them initially.
Common Allergens in Florida
- pollen is the most common allergen in Florida. It’s found in various plants, including trees, grasses, and weeds.
- dust mites are microscopic insects that live their entire lives on your bedding and other soft surfaces—they can be found in mattresses, pillows, and even stuffed animals.
- pet dander is a powdery substance made up of desquamated skin cells from pets that causes allergic reactions in people whose immune systems have been sensitized to animal allergens (a process known as “allergic sensitization”).
- mold grows inside or outside your home on damp materials like wood and paper—it often appears as greenish-black spots or patches.
Pollen Counts are High in Florida
By now, you’ve probably heard about pollen counts. But do you know what they are and how they affect your seasonal allergies?
Pollen is a fine powder produced by flowers and trees that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Pollen count numbers are based on the number of grains per cubic meter of air, which tells doctors how high the risk of an allergy attack is for patients in an area. For example, if a pollen count hits 25 grains per meter cubed (g/m3), then there are 25 pollens per every cubic meter of air in that space. The higher this number gets, the more likely someone will have an allergic reaction to pollen when exposed to it.
When we talk about seasonal allergies here in Florida (and most other places where people live), we’re talking about two different kinds of allergens: tree pollens and weed/grass pollens. These types differ from one another because different types grow at various times throughout each year—but together, they make up what we refer to as “seasonal allergies” when we talk about them together during the fall through spring months!
Home Remedies During the Allergy Season
- keep your windows closed. If you can’t do this, a HEPA filter will help keep the dust and pollen out of your home.
- wash bedding frequently, especially if it is down or similar materials are great at holding on to allergens.
- use a humidifier instead of a dehumidifier during the winter months to help avoid dry sinuses and skin. If you already have one in place, clean out the tub and cartridge frequently. This will remove mold spores that may cause allergies and bacteria that could make you sick by growing in those places where moisture collects inside the machine (along with any cracks or seams).
- avoid cleaning chemicals containing alcohols like ethanol and benzene because they can trigger reactions from people who are sensitive to them directly through contact with their skin.
A Few Tips to Minimize Seasonal Allergies
To minimize the impact of seasonal allergies on your Florida lifestyle, consider the following:
- you are keeping windows closed and using air conditioning. The pollen that causes seasonal allergies can enter your home through open windows, causing you to develop symptoms. Also, don’t forget to regularly change the filters in your heating and cooling system!
- you are using a high-quality air filter. Air filters should be replaced every three months or so, depending on how much dust they’re filtering out of the air in your home. Live in an area with a lot of pollen or other particulate matter. It may be worth investing in an even better filter like HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorber) that removes these particles from your indoor environment.
- removing carpets and rugs from rooms where people spend most of their time, like bedrooms or living rooms, will help keep dust levels down around those areas. In addition to being more comfortable for allergy sufferers since there’ll be less surface area touching their skin directly when walking around barefoot indoors, this also reduces how much health dust gets into their lungs which helps prevent symptoms from developing.
Visit Your Local Allergy Specialist in Lake Mary
Consider visiting your local allergy specialist in Lake Mary if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Central Florida is a premier allergy and asthma center in Lake Mary. The clinic has provided friendly, compassionate care to the Central Florida community for many years.
In addition to treating seasonal allergies, our board-certified allergists can help you manage other related conditions, such as asthma.
With all this information, it’s clear that seasonal allergies are severe in Florida. If you are struggling with symptoms, see your local allergy specialist in Lake Mary as soon as possible! Our specialists can help you manage your symptoms and even find long-term solutions if necessary.