NewsPinellas County


Allergy sufferers feeling full effects of extreme tree pollen in Tampa Bay

Posted at 4:21 PM, Mar 12, 2019

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — If you think your allergies are extremely bad right now, there’s a reason. Allergy doctors say the pollen count is the worst this time of year.

"Itchy, watery eyes, draining nose, stuffy, sneezing, coughing. You name it I have it," said Amalia Hintz.

Hintz says the culprit is tree pollen.

"I actually have a sinus headache as we’re speaking, so that comes with the allergies as well," she said.

Because Florida rarely gets a hard freeze, there are plants pollinating 12 months out of the year, making it one of the top states for allergies. But the worst of it is when the trees pollinate from February through April.

"It’s unavoidable; in your hair, your eyelashes, in your nose," said Dr. Rima Sanka of Advanced Allergy and Asthma Care.

Dr. Sanka says her office has been slammed because the pollen is so bad this time of year that it can even affect people without allergies.

"Your body is overreacting to what it sees as foreign and in this case it's the pollen," said Sanka.

Dr.Sanka says the best thing to help is to wash it off.

"It sounds so simple but it also makes a tremendous difference to wash your face," said Sanka.

Also wiping off hair, washing hands, and changing clothes after being outdoors.

"Secondly, you’re going to need medications," said Sanka.

Like eye drops, nasal spray, throat drops, and antihistamines.

Sanka says if that doesn’t work you’ll need to see a specialist to get prescription medications or an allergy shot.

"All of those together can eliminate limitations and allow you to have a good quality of life," said Sanka.