According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the most recent pollen and mold report for Tampa, Florida, shows a very high concentration of mold, with a presence of all of the top three species of mold: ascospores, basidiospores, and smuts/myxomycetes. These three strains all share one common factor – they’re hazardous to your health.
Residents of the Sunshine State are no stranger to the wrath of hurricanes, with more storms hitting it than any other U.S. state. Since hurricane statistics started being recorded in 1851, Florida has withstood 116 hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The wake of these blustery giants leaves behind much more than piles of brush, mangled homes, and debris. It also leaves behind mold.
Hurricane Irma’s Moldy Aftermath
Tampa is still suffering the allergic consequences of Hurricane Irma from September 2017. After making its final land strike at Marco Island as a category-3 hurricane, this storm then moved northward along the western edge of Florida, finally passing between Tampa and Orlando as a category-1 hurricane. It then moved north into Georgia, Alabama, and all the way through to Missouri.
Hurricane Irma was a relatively slow-moving storm, and it grew larger in size (though lessening in strength) as it passed over land. That left behind a large swath of damaged land and property, and it also brought large amounts of rain which collected the resulting debris and fostered the growth of mold.
Causes of Mold in Tampa and Throughout Florida
Stagnant water and the remnants of rotting wood from hurricane debris are breeding grounds for high concentrations of mold, and this can cause almost anyone to suffer from itching and sneezing. Extreme humidity, torrential rains, and sweltering temperatures are also a recipe for mold and bacteria to grow.
Florida is a lush locale rich in leaves, plants, and fruit, but it also breeds higher concentrations of mold than other regions. The state has been experiencing warmer temperatures overall and much milder winters as compared to recent decades, and this combination acts as a catalyst for plants to produce pollen earlier – thus extending allergy season in recent years.
What Can I Do to Help My Allergies?
If you’re one of the many people affected by allergies, or if you’re experiencing the itchy throat, watery eyes, stuffy nose, cough, and other common allergic reactions to mold, there are ways to alleviate your symptoms.
Small changes to your home and property can help keep mold from harming you. If possible, invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter, which will help eliminate airborne toxins like mold spores. Because mold thrives in damp and balmy surroundings such as Florida, a dehumidifier can be a wonderful defense against mold and will help keep your home dry.
Allergy Doctor in Tampa
If you think you may be suffering from mold allergies – or you simply live in an area that is highly affected by this type of allergen – it’s worth paying a visit to a board-certified physician who can help get your allergies under control.
Drs. Lockey, Fox, Ledford & Glaum at Allergy Tampa offer comprehensive and cost-effective care to their patients, as well as the convenience of five locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. Call (813) 971-9743 or fill out our online appointment request form to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.