TAMPA (FOX 13) - Weather changes brought an earlier-than-usual spring allergy season to Florida this year. American Family Care urgent clinics have reported an increase in allergy cases, many involving new patients.
"More and more people come in thinking they have a cold, but in many cases it is an allergy attack, even if they've never had allergies before," offered Dr. Jeremy Allen of AFC.
Some experts attribute the increase in cases to warmer temperatures, windier conditions, and El Nino. Pollen movement began sooner than usual this year and wet grounds provided growth opportunities for pollen-producing trees and plants.
AFC doctors identified five ways patients are making their allergies worse:
Those concerned about symptoms should contact a medical professional.
"It is always best to get checked out by a physician so you know exactly what kind of condition you are dealing with because a battle with seasonal allergies can last as long as there is exposure," added Allen. "People with allergies are more likely to suffer from sinus problems because their nasal and sinus tissues swell as they breathe dust, pollen or smoke. "