Category: <span>The Jacksonville AllerGIST!</span>

Jacksonville Tree & Spring Pollen Allergy Forecast - 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Tree and Spring Pollen Allergies 2022

Compared to the rest of the U.S., midwinter and early spring in Jacksonville is a really beautiful time of year.

Although, our mild temperatures tend to attract folks from more frigid regions, that doesn’t mean our “cool” seasons are completely free of any downsides. In fact, if you’re allergic to tree pollen — one of the most common allergens we have here on the First Coast — you know this all too well.

Another downside? Jacksonville regularly ranks among the Worst Cities for Spring Allergies. In 2021 Jacksonville came in at #30 in the US — in 2022? We’re now up to #22 (and puts us firmly in the “worse than average” category).

Across most of the country, trees don’t release their pollen until early spring. But, thanks to our temperate climate here in North Florida, local trees usually start producing an abundance of pollen starting in February (and sometimes as early as December). Although January 2022 felt a bit cooler than normal, February warmed up and we began to see a big uptick in pollen.

If you suffer from tree pollen sensitivity, here’s a helpful guide for tree pollen allergies and our best advice for controlling a reaction this spring season.

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viral asthma treatment and prevention

Understanding Viral Asthma: Treatment and Prevention of Viral Induced Asthma

Cold and flu season is no fun for anyone, but it presents special challenges for those trying to manage their asthma. Although you don’t hear as much about it as other triggers, such as allergy and exercise, viruses are actually one of the most common triggers for asthma flare-ups.

As we again enter that time of year when colds and the flu are most likely, the risk of viral asthma also increases. The more you know about this type of asthma and about viral induced asthma in children and toddlers, the better prepared you’ll be to take care of yourself and your kids.

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fall allergies guide for Jacksonville 2021

The Complete Guide to Florida Fall Allergy Season 2021

Most people in Florida look forward to autumn with its pumpkin spice lattes, mild sun and cooler air. But if you’re one of the estimated 40 million fall allergy sufferers in the U.S., this time of year can be very unpleasant.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though…

With the proper precautions and correct allergy treatments, you can enjoy all that autumn has to offer.

While most people often associate allergies with spring and the pollen produced by flowering plants, fall can be the worst season to deal with allergies. As the weather here in Jacksonville cools, plants tend to release more pollen and the moist, cool air leads to increased mold growth on leaves and other surfaces.

Combined, these factors can trigger severe allergic reactions.

updated for Fall 2021

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primatene mist otc asthma treatment caution

Primatene Mist OTC: Why We Believe Caution is Needed

Originally posted: Dec 2018 — UPDATED: June 2021

Disclaimer: As board-certified allergists we do not recommend Primatene Mist as a treatment for asthma symptoms. If you or someone you are responsible for is considering Primatene Mist, we recommend discussing asthma treatment with us (or your personal allergy and asthma specialist) before using this or other OTC treatments. 

If you’re a fan of this once-popular product, you can thank the manufacturers who came up with a reformulation that would satisfy environmental concerns. By switching up the propellant used in the inhaler, they were able to regain the FDA approval they had lost in 2011.

Unlike the original inhaler, this new version does not use ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Instead, is uses hydrofluoroalkanes (HFAs) as a propellant.

Asthma specialists and advocacy groups, however, have concerns about the renewed over the counter availability of this medication— here’s why:

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sinusitis & asthma connection jacksonville allergy specialists

Sinusitis and Asthma: What’s the Connection?

Sinusitis and asthma symptoms may be connected. Nearly half of individuals with moderate to severe asthma also experience sinusitis. Experiencing sinusitis on top of asthma can be difficult to manage when the symptoms leave you feeling sick and miserable. If left untreated, symptoms can worsen and even result in more severe cases of asthma.

If you’ve experienced a combination of sinusitis and asthma, you’re not alone. Learn more about the link between these two conditions and how to treat them.

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forest fire smoke allergies treatment jacksonville

How to Guard Yourself Against Forest Fire Smoke and Other Respiratory Irritants

Updated June 2020: with COVID-19 affecting many in Florida and the First coast people are opting to stay closer to home this summer. Instead of traveling for vacation, many are doing camping trips. Often people may not realize how campfire smoke and other irritants can affect their breathing and asthma. This can lead to serious health issues. Read on for more about protecting yourself from smoke and other irritants.

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allergy symptoms vs covid19 symptoms

Is it the Flu, Cold, or Allergies: How to Tell The Difference

Updated: Nov 2021 — to address questions and concerns about the novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Please see our message about COVID19 procedures at our clinics

Feeling run down and stuffed up?

Are your eyes itchy and your nose running?

One thing is for sure—you’re not feeling like yourself. But are you suffering from allergies, the common cold, or even worse, the flu or potentially coronavirus/COVID-19?

It’s not always easy to identify the cause as you might think. The symptoms for each of these illnesses frequently overlap. However, there are some tell-tale signs to be aware of that may help you determine what the problem is and decide the best course of action.

Study the following symptoms to make sure you’re properly treating the underlying cause of your discomfort. As always, remember discussing this with your physician is the best option.

Updated Nov 2021: Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

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Everything You Need to Know About Allergic Rhinitis in Jacksonville

We recently talked about dealing with pollen allergies here in Jacksonville and we’re well into hay fever season. Many of our patients suffer from allergic rhinitis triggered by seasonal allergens.

With that being said, here is some helpful information about allergic rhinitis, for our Jacksonville, Orange Park and St. Johns patients.

What is Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)?

Allergic rhinitis — what most people commonly call “hay fever” — is a set of symptoms that people experience when they breathe in any airborne substance of which they are allergic. The majority of the symptoms affect the nose, but can also affect the eyes, upper respiratory tract and lungs.

Pollen from trees, grasses and weeds is very high in the Jacksonville. These pollens, unlike other colder climates, are present in the air most of the year. However, spring allergies are often worse in susceptible individuals with tree pollen allergy since the levels are so high between February and May. Year-round allergic rhinitis sufferers may also have allergies due to dust mite, animal dander and mold.

An interesting fact is that hay fever has nothing to do with hay nor does it cause fever. The name stuck because symptoms would strike during hay-harvesting season and the symptoms became associated with hay.

What are the Risk Factors?

So who is at risk for allergic rhinitis? A major risk factor is if you have family members who already have allergic rhinitis, or who suffer from eczema or asthma. Allergic rhinitis is also more prevalent in people who already suffer from food allergies or have asthma or eczema themselves.

What are common Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms?

There are some characteristic symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Most symptoms are physical responses to allergens, but there are behavioral characteristics as well.

The most persistent symptoms are excessive nasal secretions or a runny nose and post-nasal drip. Nasal congestion is common. Itchy, red, swollen eyes and dark rings around the eyes (“allergic shiners”) come with hay fever, as does coughing, sneezing, and sore throat.

While these symptoms are frustrating, it may be helpful to remember what your body is doing: an allergen is invading your body and your body is mounting a defense to get rid of the irritant. Sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose all help to get rid of whatever is bothering you.

A common behavioral symptom is the “allergic salute.” To relieve irritation and drainage of mucus from the nose, an allergy sufferer will instinctively and habitually wipe their nose in an upward motion with the palm of their hand. This action clears mucus from the nose and temporarily opens the nasal passages allowing for clearer breathing. Unfortunately it also helps the spread of germs and doesn’t offer real relief. Disrupted sleep and fatigue may also be secondary to allergic rhinitis.

What are the treatment options for Hay Fever sufferers?

The most effective treatment for hay fever is to avoid what ails you but we realize that isn’t always an option especially with pollen allergens. For this reason there are a numerous treatment options available.

For our patients who suffer from allergic rhinitis in Jacksonville, we customize a personal allergy treatment based on your medical history and lifestyle needs. Not everyone has allergies and each allergic individual has their own specific allergy profile, similar to a fingerprint. Therefore, the first step in proper treatment is to determine your specific allergen responses by performing skin testing to regional allergens. We can then discuss specific allergen control measures depending on your sensitivities. Next we can prescribe a variety of treatment options using either medications or immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Environmental Control Measures

Once a patient’s specific allergens are identified, we are able to discuss measures to minimize exposure to the culprit allergens. While this may be difficult depending on the allergen, it is an essential and non-invasive component of allergy care.

Medication Treatments

These treatments could include prescription or over-the-counter recommendations such as corticosteroids (nasal sprays), as well as antihistamines, decongestants, or leukotriene modifiers (for example, Singulair), nasal saline irrigations and other therapies. Each of these medications work differently and may have different side effects. Therefore it is important for an allergist to tailor medical therapy to your symptoms and allergens.


If you are one of our patients who do not respond positively to medication or would rather not take medications another option for treatment may be immunotherapy or allergy shots. This method provides injections of small amounts of allergen, over the course of weeks to years, with the goal of making your body’s immune system less sensitive to allergens. With this form of treatment it may be possible to eliminate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

We are in the heart of hay fever season here in Jacksonville. If you are suffering and need relief, call 904-730-4870 or contact us to schedule an appointment at one of the four Allergy and Asthma Specialists of North Florida locations around Jacksonville – including in Orange Park on Kingsley Ave., Mandarin area on San Jose Blvd., or on the Westside off Normandy Blvd..

when to see jacksonville allergy specialist or ent

When to Contact an Allergist vs ENT

It’s common for people with allergy symptoms to go directly to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor for treatment. ENT doctors are surgeons who are experts in resolving structural problems involving the head, face, sinuses, nose, throat and voice box.  Allergist/immunologists are expert physicians who manage inflammatory (allergic) conditions of the nose, sinuses, ears, throat and lungs without surgery. Symptoms such as trouble breathing, sinus pressure, episodic ear discomfort, or a raspy voice can be caused by allergies and may not require surgery.

If you’re wondering whether your symptoms require visiting an Allergist or ENT doctor, continue reading to help decide the right course of action for you.

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