SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -
You may have noticed an increase in allergy symptoms over the last few weeks, and this is likely linked to a lack of rainfall compared to the amount of rain we should have received this time of year. West Central Florida, including the Suncoast, is now under moderate drought conditions.
Dr. Hugh Windom, an Allergist and Immunologist in Sarasota explains the increase in allergy symptoms you could experience until we receive a persistent rainfall. “It’s going to stay around, and it’s going to continue to aggravate people’s eyes, their nose and into their lungs. Our asthmatics could experience a cough and wheeze.”
In Florida, the worst pollen season is from the month of February and through April. This is the transition period from the cooler and drier months in spring, to warmer and wetter months in the summer. “In just that short period of time, the Oak trees put off 80% of our total pollen count for the whole year.”
If you are looking for help regarding allergy symptoms, you can visit a doctor from the comfort of your home, while practicing social distancing. “We are doing telemedicine visits now. You don’t need to come in, you can call from your cell phone or your computer. Then we can try and sort out your allergy issues that are bothering you right now.”
While, pollen continue to agitate allergy sufferers it is important to understand the difference between typical allergy symptoms versus the symptoms of Covid-19. “But, the allergy symptoms are different. They are more runny, sneezy, itchy and a lot of upper airway problems. Whereas, this current virus is more in lower airways such as a cough or shortness of breath. You’re probably familiar with your allergies, so if it’s the same old, same old, it’s your allergies. If it’s new and it’s hitting you hard in the chest, it may be the virus.”
Dr. Windom suggests those suffering from allergies to take over-the-counter antihistamines. This could include medications such as Zyrtec, Benadryl, Allegra, Alavert, Claritin, and Astelin.