NewsPinellas County


Allergies hitting hard and striking early in Tampa Bay

Posted at 6:02 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 18:02:38-05

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Hitting hard and striking early. Allergy season is in full swing and if you’re feeling miserable, you’re not alone. Oak trees are blooming early this year after a cold snap and then a quick warm up.  

Allergies hit Marilyn Franz like a sack of bricks.

“I feel like I just want to nap,” she said with a laugh.

That congested, drowsy feeling rushed over her a few days ago, and sure enough, she looked outside to find her car windows covered in oak pollen.

“It’s warm already. The trees don’t know what to do,” Franz added.

This winter’s cold snap, followed by this warm and balmy weather, has the trees blooming aggressively, according to Tampa Bay allergists.

Allergist Jack Parrino has been slammed.

“People coming in with wet, water, drippy and sneezy symptoms,” he explained.

Complicating things: This year’s awful flu season.

Allergist Mandel Sher says sometimes it is hard for patients to tell the difference.

“Is it a virus, flu, allergies, or a combination of all of these?”

Doctors say if you don’t have a fever and clear liquid when you blow your nose, it could be allergies.

“My patients are miserable. They can’t sleep. They have trouble focusing mentally,” Parrino said.

Doctors recommend keeping your windows closed, changing your clothes and showering every night before bed, which will help cut down on the pollen on your skin. As for medicine, Zyrec and Allegra are the highest ranking non-prescription meds. If those things doesn’t work, see a doctor. 

Without significant rain in our near future, that troublesome pollen isn’t going anywhere. 

Maureen Jacques, whose husband suffers from allergies, is hoping for a downpour.

“The trees are just pollinating like crazy. It’s hitting all at once.”