SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WWSB)- As the red tide still lingers throughout Sarasota County, one local sinus and allergy doctor said more patients are coming through his door.
People throughout Sarasota County say they have felt the impact of the red tide, and that they can now smell it in their homes and at work. But a local allergy specialist want to reassure people that unless you're on the beach you shouldn't feel any of its effects.
"This has been going on way too long, this is not normal," said Venice resident, Melissa Philbrick.
Philbrick said she has lived here all her life and has never seen a ride tide this bad. She and her family are all suffering from sinus irritations and sore throats. And they're not alone.
"For me my sinuses, I can't seem to be breathing through me nose, I'm all clustered," said Lakewood Ranch resident Jessica Grasa.
Allergy and Sinus Specialist, Dr. Hugh Windom said he is seeing more patients coming in with irritations from the red tide, "It affects their eyes their nose and in our field of taking care of asthma we're seeing more people coughing because of the red tide in the air."
But he wants to clarify red tide only causes irritations.
"A cough but that's not asthma or a sore throat and that's not strep throat that's just a sore throat that is an irritation from the toxin," said Windom.
He said people who are suffering should stay indoors and away from the beach. People who spend long periods of time outdoors could also wear masks to help.
"The inexpensive little paper things probably won't do a whole lot so you're probably looking more for the industrial if you really need to be out there. If you're just going from house to car just driving around I don't think you need to get too carried away from these things," Windom said.
As for long term effects, Dr. Windom said people don't need to worry, "Unless you worked in this year round at some point that could cause issues but for the few weeks or month it's around it's around it's an irritant and will not have lasting effects."
He went on to say while some people are worried about seniors or babies breathing in this air, if they aren't irritated by the smell then they should be fine to be outdoors.
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