Tail-end of brutal allergy season

DOCTOR: Ignoring allergy symptoms could lead to something more severe


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's that time of year: yellow pollen on your car and for many of you, allergies.

Doctors say this year's allergy season in Florida and throughout the nation will be a rough one due to the long winter we had.

Many people are even experiencing allergies this year for the first time ever.

"We are indeed having a bad allergy season and part of it is we had a very wet and cold winter," said Dr. Arveen Thethi.

Dr. Thethi is a senior allergist with Mayo Clinic and said because of the brutal winter we had, the pollen is blooming a little late, leading to harder hitting allergies.

"People are having a lot of symptoms of itchy, watery eyes… itchy, runny nose sneezing congestion," said Dr. Thethi.

She said most people automatically think Pine pollen is to blame for all allergy symptoms, but said Oak pollen is even worse right now.

Dr. Thethi has seen patients this year who have never dealt with allergies until now. She said there are many ways to help treat them:

  • Start medicating as soon as you experience symptoms. A good place to start according to Dr. Thethi, is an over the counter antihistamine whether it be Zyrtec, Claritin D or Allegra.
  • Find out what you're allergic to. Allergies are treated differently and controlling what you're exposed to will help.
  • And keep pollen out of your home. Take your shoes off before coming inside, keep all windows closed, and take a quick shower to get the pollen out of your hair.

Dr. Thethi said it's important to not ignore allergies because they could turn into something more severe.

"When someone has allergies untreated, it can contribute to sinus infections or ear infections, so someone who has recurrent sinus pain or pressure even teeth pain, that can be a sign of a sinus infection and we always look to see if allergies are contributing to that," said Dr. Thethi.

Dr. Thethi said the two worst seasons for people with allergies are right now in spring with the tree pollen and in fall with weeds. She said, fortunately, we're at the tail end of the season and things should get better in a couple of weeks.