Hello again from the allergyweb.com blog. The future topics of this blog will obviously include the typical allergy topics: allergic rhinitis, asthma, urticaria, food allergies, insect allergies, medication allergies as well as contact dermatitis.

We encourage any reader of this blog to suggest any particular topics for us to comment on. I will be writing the majority of the blog entries (Dr. Neil Gershman), however, we will also be getting contributions from our other physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

I will mention one small bit of business regarding the most recent pollen season.  Starting about two months ago, and ending just in the past week or so, we had a particularly severe run of patients coming in with severe allergic symptoms, most particularly eye symptoms.  This was most likely due to oak tree pollen that was pollinating at a later time than usual. It seems that every year there is a newspaper article stating that this is the worst pollen season ever.  I think this is probably because when people are in the middle of suffering, they believe this is the worst season they have ever experienced. However, I do believe this year was different. Perhaps the cold weather this winter contributed to a prolonged and delayed oak tree season.

Unfortunately, we have no way to tell for sure how much pollen was present.  There currently is no active official pollen counting station in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area.  When I mean official, I am referring to the National Allergy Bureau (NAB), which is part of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. There are approximately 78 counting stations throughout the United States, but the closest official station is in Orlando, Florida.  Therefore, any reports of pollen that may be seen in the local papers may be based on the counts from Orlando or other areas of Florida.  Obviously, there are important environmental differences between Orlando and Coastal South Florida, so any one reading “South Florida” pollen counts should take this information with a grain of salt.

In any case, this was a particularly severe season based on how busy our practice was over the past month or two.  We are hoping next pollen season won’t be as severe as this one, but we will have to see what happens.