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Seniors and Seasonal Allergies in Florida

An elderly man under our care was eating a chicken salad sandwich for lunch, and his caregiver noticed that his nose was dripping dangerously close to his food! With a quick step, she grabbed his handkerchief and encouraged the man to wipe his nose.

Meanwhile, another senior lady who requires regular transportation assistance was complaining about her runny nose and sinus drainage due to seasonal allergies.

Considering our warm Florida climate, allergies of various types can plague sufferers year-round. So, I decided to gather more information about seniors, seasonal allergies, and ways to curtail annoying, uncomfortable symptoms that result.

Dr. Manan Shah, MD, ENT, at Wyndly, a medical practice in Florida that specializes in allergies and ear, nose, and throat conditions, explains, “Seasonal allergies typically refer to allergies that are triggered by pollen. Pollen is only released by plants during certain times of the year, because of this, these allergies only flare up throughout specific months. The primary producers of pollen in Florida are grasses, trees, and weeds.”

Because we do not typically experience cold winters in Florida that would prevent plants from pollinating, there are pollens from different plant sources that occur throughout the year.

The most common Florida allergens include:

  • Ragweed
  • Sorrel
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • River Birch
  • Bayberry
  • Elm
  • Maple

Wyndly confirms that in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas, ragweed is prominent, along with dog fennel, oak, pine, sorrel, and dock.

Typical allergy symptoms that occur in Florida often vary from person to person. These symptoms include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Congestion
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Brain fog
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Aggravated asthma symptoms

The best solutions for battling allergies in the Clearwater area include:

Limit Exposure

“An effective method of decreasing your symptoms is limiting your exposure to the pollens that are triggering your allergies. While pollen can be difficult to avoid, there are ways to decrease your exposure to pollen in Florida.”

  • Check the pollen count daily. The mornings and afternoons are when pollen counts are usually higher than in the evenings. Monitor pollen levels and if they are high, limit the time you are out during the day.
  • Trim trees, mow the lawn, and pull weeds. By managing lawn and landscaping maintenance in these ways, you can minimize the pollen around your home.
  • Wear a mask and/or glasses outdoors. Most of us have face masks post-COVID, so wearing one should not be a big deal when you go outdoors. A face mask will help prevent pollen from gaining access to your airways, and glasses will keep pollen from getting into your eyes.
  • Clean regularly. Pollen is sticky and will cling to your clothing and make its way into your home. Regularly clean your home environment, launder your clothing, and bathe after being outdoors to wash it away.
  • Close windows. Open windows allow pollen to get into your home. Close windows and run the air conditioner instead.
  • Install a HEPA filter. Installing a HEPA filter on your air conditioner can help reduce pollen from circulating throughout your home.


“Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are widely available in Florida, and they provide short-term relief from your allergy symptoms. If you find that antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops don’t provide enough relief from your seasonal allergies, you can look into allergy treatments that will provide long-term relief instead of just masking your symptoms.”

Sublinqual Immunotherapy

“If you want lifelong relief from your seasonal allergies in Florida, sublingual immunotherapy is the best solution. Sublingual immunotherapy involves exposing your immune system to small doses of the allergens that trigger your allergies. Through this exposure, your body becomes desensitized to your allergies, providing long-term relief. Sublingual immunotherapy is just as effective as allergy shots, but it can also be taken from the comfort of your home.”

Wyndly also recommends allergy sufferers get an allergy test to determine what pollens specifically trigger allergy symptoms.

For seniors who live alone or have no family in the Clearwater area, Home Helpers is your family when family can’t be there! Our professional caregivers are thoroughly background-checked, and they are licensed, bonded, and insured employees of Home Helpers.

Additionally, our caregivers are highly trained to perform a variety of in-home care and specialized care services to assist our clients in many ways, like with light housekeeping. If we can help you or a senior loved one who suffers from allergies or other health conditions, I offer a FREE Consultation to assess needs and create a customized care plan.

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have been ranked among the Home Care Pulse Top 100 Leaders in Experience for home care providers in 2023 and to have received the Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award 2023, the Best of Home Care® Employer of Choice Award 2023, and the Best of Home Care® Leader in Experience Award 2023.

We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson, and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539