Unlike most of the country, Florida doesn’t get unbearably cold in winter. Instead, temperatures are just cool enough to motivate those who proudly call the sunshine state their home to go outside and enjoy what many will agree feels a lot more like spring temperatures.
Unfortunately, for many Floridians, especially those in Pembroke Pines, Davie, and other cities in beautiful Broward County, partaking in these seasonably cool temperatures also means being confronted with outdoor allergies, even in winter!
As such, many Broward County physicians, including Dr. Robert Contrucci, an otolaryngologist based in Pembroke Pines, are accustomed to seeing a spike in individuals seeking relief from allergies as temperatures start to drop.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON WINTER ALLERGIES IN THE PEMBROKE PINES AREA?
During winter, many people in South Florida struggle with allergies that are triggered by exposure to ragweed, which continues to grow in the state until about the end of November. And the mild winters in South Florida has a lot to do with this unusually long growing season. That said, exposure to ragweed has been shown to cause the following allergy symptoms
- Itchy, watery, or burning eyes
- Excessive saliva production
- An upset stomach
- Coughing and wheezing
- A scratchy or sore throat
Ragweed can grow anywhere from 5 to 15 feet and can produce over one billion grains of pollen during allergy season. The small size of these grains allows them to travel hundreds of miles, which means that even those who live outside of South Florida can be affected by them. It is important to note that in addition to ragweed, many individuals who live in South Florida struggle with mold allergies during the winter as well.
MOLD ALLERGIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA DURING THE WINTER
Although many people associate mold with being a household allergen, it can also be found outside and can trigger the same allergy symptoms as ragweed. In the winter, Pembroke Pines, Davie and the rest of South Florida can be exceedingly humid and rainy during the day before cooling off considerably at night; this combination of rain and humidity can result in mold spores growing on trees and plants. Along with your run-of-the-mill allergy symptoms, mold spores can also trigger asthma and other respiratory problems.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR WINTER ALLERGIES?
Much like allergies in the spring, winter allergies can make you feel miserable. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments that can provide you with some much-needed relief from winter allergies. Some of the ones commonly recommended by Dr. Robert Contrucci and many other otolaryngologists include
Antihistamines – These medications, which are available by prescription or over-the-counter, can help alleviate itching, sneezing, nasal swelling, skin rashes, and many other symptoms that occur when exposed to allergens.
Decongestants – Also available by prescription or over-the-counter, decongestants are commonly used to help break up thick mucus that causes chest congestion.
Immunotherapy – This approach to treating severe allergy symptoms requires being purposely exposed to allergens, either in tablet or sublingual form, as a way to become desensitized to them over time.
To learn more about treatments that can help ease severe winter allergy symptoms, consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Robert Contrucci today.