TAMPA, Fla. — You may have noticed that you're sniffling and sneezing more often the last couple weeks.

Don't immediately assume you have a cold or the flu. It could very well be allergies.

If you have a tree pollen allergy, you are likely already suffering. If you're new to Florida or visiting, you may notice your symptoms are worse than ever.

Just take a look at cars parked outside. There's likely a lovely layer of green on them. That's the pollen. 

If it's visible on your car, think about how much you are breathing in when you're outside.

Dr. Richard Lockey is an allergist and immunologist at the University of South Florida Health. He says if you are suffering from allergies, and over-the-counter medications aren't working, you need to see a doctor.

"Allergic problems increase the instances of colds, [and] respiratory tract infections. They cause asthma, they cause eye problems," Lokcey said. "They cause increased obstruction of the nose, sleep apnea. A whole bunch of co-morbid conditions are associated with allergic problems."

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