With its warm weather and beaches, the Sunshine State is a popular place to put down roots, but for allergy sufferers, it’s not ideal.
The warmer temperatures and high humidity may be a welcome relief from snowy winters, but it also is the perfect climate for pollen-producing trees, grasses, and weeds to thrive, making Florida’s allergy season tough.
Let’s dive into everything Florida residents need to know about allergy season in Florida.
When Is Allergy Season in Florida?
Unfortunately, allergy season in Florida lasts most of the year with only a small break from the end of December to mid-February for the majority of the state. However, both the time of year and what region you are in determine which allergens are the culprits.
It’s important to know the allergens in your area and when they will be at their highest so you can try to avoid flare-ups!
Florida Allergens by Season
Every season brings a new allergen causing trouble in Florida, so here’s what you can expect.
Spring allergies are often the worst for people because pollen levels soar as trees, grasses, and weeds all ramp up pollen production. Tree pollen season is at its highest in the spring. It also marks the beginning of weed and grass pollen season. Sky-high pollen counts generated by the triple threat create severe spring allergies for Florida residents.
Once summer comes around, tree pollen season begins to die down, but weed and grass pollen counts get worse. Weeds and grasses are strong allergy triggers for a lot of people with seasonal allergies and these plants are everywhere in Florida, so the summer allergy forecast isn’t too bright.
Allergy sufferers may not get a break during the fall either depending on their allergy triggers. Those with pollen allergies might get a slight reprieve, but mold spores often trigger fall allergies in the Sunshine State.
Mold allergies become a problem as mold spores float through the air this time of year. The damp leaves on plants and frequent standing water that no longer get quickly dried out by the hot summer sun are breeding grounds for molds.
Fall allergies can also be attributed to ragweed still producing pollen and oak tree pollen levels beginning to rise for those who don’t have mold allergies.
Winter brings about the least amount of allergy problems as pollen levels decline significantly from December to February. However, oak tree pollen season continues, so those with a severe allergy to oak may have allergy symptoms throughout winter.
Florida Allergens by Region
Florida can be divided into three distinct regions each of which has unique allergens.
North Florida allergens include a hefty amount of oak varieties, though due to the slightly different climate in this region, they don’t begin to produce pollen until the late winter, or early spring. The area also has a few ash, hickory, and willow species that cause problems.
In terms of grasses and weeds, the northern part of the state has Bermuda, Perennial Rye, and Upland Bent grass, along with Marsh Elder weed varieties and Perennial Ragweed as the top allergens.
Central Florida has a ton of oak trees as well, though the Carolina Willow, Scrub Hickory, Water Hickory, Red Mulberry, and Pecan trees are also significant contributors to tree pollen season. You’ll find the same grass allergens here, too, with the addition of Winter Bent grass.
Weeds are far worse of an allergen in Central Florida when compared to North Florida as there are almost double the species. Weed allergens here include several Amaranth varieties, Annual Ragweed, Saltwater False Willow, Seacoast Elder Weed, and Pacific Wormwood.
South Florida has warmer temperatures all year round than the rest of the state which means that there are both weeds and trees producing pollen in the winter, making it the worst region for those with seasonal allergies.
In South Florida, the biggest tree allergens include Black Walnut, Queen Palm, Eastern Red Cedar, Red and Paper Mulberry, Chinese Privet, Carolina Willow, Scrub Hickory, and of course several species of oaks.
The area also has more weeds that plague allergy sufferers such as Amaranth varieties, Sorell Doc, Coastal Ragweed, Annual Ragweed, Oldwoman Weed, and Jesuit’s Bark. Common grasses of the area are Timothy, Bermuda, and Johnson grass.
Signs That You May Have Seasonal Allergies
Runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, post-nasal drip, and cough are signs of hay fever, which is often used to describe allergy symptoms or seasonal allergies.
The severity of symptoms and when they occur vary from person to person depending on each individual's sensitivity to the various allergens.
How To Reduce Allergy Symptoms
There are three main ways to get your annoying runny nose or other allergy symptoms under control.
Allergy medications, which come as pills or nasal sprays, are the most common allergy treatment. Oral allergy medications you might be familiar with include Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra, while Flonase is likely a familiar allergy nasal spray.
Oral allergy medications are absorbed into the whole body leaving you susceptible to side effects, while nasal sprays are concentrated just on the lining of the nose which not only makes them more effective but also less risky. This is why nasal sprays are the top choice.
Allergy injections or drops that go under your tongue are designed to give you micro-amounts of the allergens you are sensitive to so that your immune system can develop natural defenses.
Unfortunately, they can take months to years to work, make your symptoms worse in the meantime, and require continual visits to the allergist.
The most simple allergy treatment is to make some lifestyle changes. For one, use an air purifier in your home and keep the windows closed. If you have an allergy to dust mites, ensure you clean regularly and wash the fabrics in your home weekly.
With pollen allergies, you should also keep an eye on the daily allergy forecast to know when pollen counts so you can avoid prolonged periods outside during that time.
Keep in mind that even if you are diligent, lifestyle changes will only help those with mild seasonal allergies.
Florida Allergy FAQs
Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about Florida’s allergy season and more.
Why do I have allergies now when I didn't before?
If you have allergies now and you didn’t before, it could be because you are in a new geographic location. Otherwise, it’s common to develop new allergies as we age.
What are the worst months for allergies in Florida?
The worst months for allergies in Florida are from March to May, though February to September may be pretty bad if you have severe seasonal allergies.
Is Florida a good state for allergies?
No, Florida is not a good state for allergies due to its tempered climate which allows pollen-producing plants to thrive.
Customized Allergy Treatment at Home
Rather than clearing out the drugstore to manage your seasonal allergies, get personalized allergy treatment from the comfort of your couch with Allermi. The licensed and board-certified allergists at Allermi formulate a custom nasal spray based on the allergy symptoms you experience most.