PALMETTO BAY (CBS4) – While Spring officially begins March 20th,  tropical flowers and foliage already are coming into full bloom – along with seasonal allergies!

Allergy sufferers in South Florida typically start feeling symptoms in mid-March, but this year, the sneezing, sore throats and watery eyes arrived earlier, thanks to Mother Nature.

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“We see a lot of problems when we see weather like we have right now, when it’s really windy and the pollen is blowing around,” sauid Dr. Michael Pacin from the Florida Center for Allergy and Asthma Care in Palmetto Bay.

Allergies can get in the way of dreams. Just ask 12-year-old Bernard Hudson. Bernard wants to be the next NFL star, but his allergies prove to be a problem.

“Say if I make a tackle on the field, get on the ground, and on the grass, my eyes get swollen, my nose gets swollen, and I’ll start sneezing,” Bernard said.

Dr. Pacin said each type of allergy has a peak seasonal period.

“The first to pollinate in the spring are the trees, then the pollen, then the weeds,” he said.

Living in paradise does have its downfalls. The cool and windy weather is blowing pollen in the air. In the summer it is the humidity and rain that carries dust mites, South Florida’s biggest allergy problem.

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Dust mites arrive with the April showers arrive. The microscopic creatures live in pillows, mattresses and carpets. The best relief for any allergy, bed bugs or not, is reducing exposure.

“We suggest they keep the windows closed, change the filters,” Pacin said.

There are a few ways to avoid allergies.

  • Dust settles on furniture and carpeting, so dust often;
  • Use anti-allergy bedding;
  • Using a dehumidifier can help reduce mold; and
  • Clean and change your air conditioner filter as often as possible.

But for moderate to severe sufferers Dr. Pacin recommends prescription nasal sprays, and if that does not work, there are allergy shots.

The shots are the solution for Bernard so he can get outside and get back to tackling teammates instead of stifling sneezes.

“I’m really active. I like playing sports. And doing things and I don’t like staying in the house all the time,” he said.

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