1. Avoid the “priming” effect. You should start drugs, which were previously effective, early in the season before pollen peaks. This should be before we start seeing pollen in trees throughout the country in February, and possibly January for southern states like Florida. We are mainly referring to antihistamines, ideally not the ones that make you drowsy. We also recommend the frequent use of saline nasal sprays to avoid the accumulation of pollen in the nasal passages.
2. Use goggles or glasses for those suffering from allergic eye symptoms. Similarly, a mask is recommended if you plan to pick up the fallen leaves, mow the lawn, or do any kind of yard work under the trees at the start and during the season.
3. Close the windows, change the air conditioner filter frequently, and it is also recommended to use a high efficiency filter. Drive with your car windows closed and use the ac to recirculate the air you breathe while driving.
4. Consider seeing an allergist for a proper evaluation of your symptoms because not all symptoms are triggered by the spring season. Early treatment helps prevent suffering during this time of year.
5. If you are allergic try to avoid activities or sports outdoors in the spring. If you can’t avoid outdoor activities then try to avoid peak times when the pollen count is higher. This happens between 5am and 10am usually, so try to play sports in the afternoon to avoid discomfort.
6. Hot, dry days will have a greater amount of pollen in the environment than cold, rainy days. Consider this when making outdoor plans.
7. Once you know what you are allergic to, stay informed of the daily pollen report in your area. Pollen and mold reports are often provided by weather centers as well as certain specialists in your area. FCAAC provides this report daily on our website for the convenience of our patients. Note that the type of pollen varies depending on the vegetation in each geographic region.
8. Change clothes once you get home from an outing because pollen sticks to fabric. You can spread pollen spores all throughout your home without even knowing it.
9. Do not dry your clothes outside on the patio because pollen can get stuck to it. Ideally, always use a dryer or let the clothes dry indoors.
*Bonus: Take daily night baths if you spend time outdoors (even if you have already bathed that same morning), as this removes the pollen that has saturated your face or body.
Remember to seek help from an allergist (doctors who specialize in all types of allergies and immune system disorders) if you suspect to be suffering from allergic symptoms.
Tormented by sneezing and itchy eyes during summer? Do you dread the inevitable arrival of those months ending in “ber” ? As if having to prepare for tropical storms and hurricane threats wasn’t enough, if you are among those 36 million Americans with seasonal allergies, now you also must take measures to protect yourself from pollen!
When ragweed pollen in the air enters the nose and throat of people who are allergic to this particular pollen, it can cause bothersome allergy and asthma symptoms.
Watery and swollen eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itchy throat…this is commonly known as hay fever, or as our doctors prefer to call it - seasonal allergic rhinitis. In some cases, these can develop into more serious asthma symptoms such as: coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing.
Ragweed is a type of weed common almost everywhere in the United States and its pollen can travel quite far. This means you don’t need to live out in the country to experience the effects of it; Even people who live in the bustling cities can suffer from a ragweed allergy.
The season usually starts during the last half of summer and lingers into the fall as late as into November. Ragweed rates normally peak sometime in mid-September. This means that after Labor Day your symptoms may intensify suddenly and may still continue through Halloween; At times even beyond due to global warming.
How to Prevent Fall Allergies
> Pay attention to the weather. Warm, windy days tend to have more pollen in the air, so staying indoors can help you feel better.
> Check our daily pollen count on our website’s Home Page.
> Plan outside activities for afternoons when the pollen counts are often lower than any other time of day.
> After spending time outside, clean your hair and change clothing to wash away any allergens.
> Keep your car and house windows closed to prevent allergens from coming in; Run your air conditioner to help clean the air.
> Take allergy medicine early rather than waiting until symptoms start to kick in.
> Let someone else handle your yard work and stay indoors during this time. Mold thrives in piles of leaves and can cause you to itch and sneeze.
> If you must spend time in your yard, wear a mask when pollen and mold spores are out in full force.
> Remove indoor plants from your home (or at least keep them to a minimum), as the soil can be a breeding ground for mold.
Who gets ragweed allergy?
Generally, whoever is already allergic to other types of pollens or who has a family history. Additionally, it is also commonly seen in people who are allergic to other environmental allergens such as: dust, molds and pet dander.
To find out if you are allergic to ragweed, get tested, diagnosed and properly treated, please refer to one of our 18 locations and make an appointment!
In honor of National Peanut Month, we decided to forget for a moment about the peanut’s allergic attributes and celebrate it through the life and discoveries of George Washington Carver. This American scientist, educator, botanist and inventor was born into slavery in Missouri in the middle of the 19th century.
With his own merits, honors and dedication he acquired the best college education you could possibly achieve in those times. His main goal as a researcher was to find alternate crops from cotton for farming families to have different forms of nutrition and personal sustainability. His techniques were intended to replenish soils depleted by continuous planting of cotton. Among the most commonly known “cotton substitutes” are corn, soy, sweet potatoes and peanuts. With the implementation of new crops, his research laboratory promoted applications and recipes of them to stimulate the farm-based economy of the South.
Some Numbers and Achievements:
George Washington Carver published 44 practical bulletins for farmers with 100 food recipes containing peanuts.
100 are the accounted for products born from his research that were useful for the survival of farming families during the famine of the early 1920’s, when cotton crops where destroyed by an epidemic.
He was accepted as a member of the Royal Society of Arts in England; met with three American presidents (T. Roosevelt, C. Coolidge and F.D. Roosevelt) who recognized his results; studied with the Crown Prince of Sweden, and had a dedicated newspaper column called “Professor Carver’s Advice”.
At Florida Center For Allergy & Asthma Care we are serious about our patients’ well-being and education of all things allergy and asthma; however, taking into account that February was Black History Month and March is National Peanut Month we thought it appropriate to feature George Washington Carver and recognize his amazing efforts and contributions to our nations’ history.
March is the apex of tree pollinating time in South Florida. Believe it or not, the first trees in South Florida start pollinating in December while other varieties don’t until April or May. We think of pollen as that yellow powder usually found on the windshield that reminds us of spring and blooming flowers. However the pollen that causes allergies is much smaller. Although invisible to the eye, it causes major discomfort to the eyes, nose and throats. That is one of the reasons that knowing the daily pollen count is paramount for anybody suffering of environmental allergies, particularly in the early morning hours.
To “break the spell” of the pollen as primary culprit of a variety of allergy related cases, let’s see some of its positive qualities. Scientifically speaking, it relates to numerous terms: coarse powder, gametes, stamens and pistils, flowers, tube, spores and pollination to say the most pronounceable.
Pollen associates to bees and the production of honey. When the plants bloom in the spring, the pollen of the flower is the best source of protein for the baby bees. So yes indeed, pollen is a good provider.
POLLINIZER vs. POLLINATOR
The concept of the Pollinizer and the Pollinator is very bucolic. The first is the bee and the latter is the plant. The bee collects and distributes the pollen facilitating the process of reproduction, a more technically terminology called cross pollination. We may imagine pollen as a step to procreation.
Honey bees, orchid bees, sting-less bees, bumblebees they all have the pollen basket. After a series of mechanic movements and the help of a long protruding tongue, the bees push the pollen and the spores collected around their body while flying through the flowers into the basket. At the end of one of their “trip”, their basket looks like one of those old fashioned picnic ones decorated with fringed gingham fabric.
To isolate pollen as the cause of allergy symptoms such as wheezing, watery eyes and itchy nose, brings joy to any Allergist. Adults and children under immunotherapy treatment are more likely to keep episodes under control. Spring has officially begun and with it over 30 million people started experiencing seasonal Rhinitis. South Florida is not included in the list of the worst 10 places for Spring Allergy sufferers; however the Allergist is the most reliable doctor to be consulted should any of the symptoms arise.
We’ve been very lucky as winter this year in South Florida has been very mild. Only a couple of chilly weeks to show for it, really. Nonetheless, we’ve still had our good share of runny noses and frequent sneezes.
Is it a cold, allergy or sinusitis?
If your stuffy nose and cough lasts more than one or two weeks you most likely have more than just a cold or flu. Even though winter is many times overlooked by allergic rhinitis sufferers (aka hay fever – which means you’re allergic to dust, mold, pollen, mites or insect parts that linger in the air), you’d be surprised to know that winter can be just as bad or even worse than spring. With the arrival of low temperatures home heating systems kick-in, which stir all the dust settled in carpets, underneath beds and sofas, bookshelves, etc. And with all that flying around the air, and frosty weather keeping you indoors, those bothersome allergy symptoms (coughing, watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing) become more of a problem.
Allergic rhinitis puts you at higher risk of developing sinusitis. This is due to the fact that allergies can cause your sinuses and nasal passages to swell. This swelling prevents the sinus
cavities from draining properly, therefore increasing your chances of developing sinusitis or sinus infection.
True or False? Cold air triggers asthma symptoms.
True! Cold, dry air can be responsible for the onset of asthma symptoms like: wheezing, cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Viral and bacterial infections such as common colds and sinusitis, very frequent during winter time, can also trigger asthma symptoms and even severe asthma attacks. Asthma is caused by different factors in different people, which is why the smartest thing to do is to seek professional help and get personalized therapy and treatment.
True or False? It is safe for everybody to use over-the-counter (OTC) cold medications.
False! Asthma patients must always consult their allergist/immunologist before deciding to use medications other than those prescribed by their doctor, including OTC cold medicine. Many drugs have contra indicatory reactions when combined, so asthma patients must use extra precaution. For example, decongestants can cause palpitations when used with standard asthma medications such as, bronchodilators.
If you have never been tested for allergies but suspect you might be showing symptoms of an allergy, it is time to make an appointment with one of our board certified allergists. Let us improve your quality of life with customized treatment plans, so you can breathe easy once again!