Millions of people suffer from allergies, which means some myths about allergies are inevitably going to pop up.
Though these myths can be mostly harmless, they can also prevent you from getting proper treatment for your allergies. Instead of being misled by bad advice, it’s best to sort the fact from the fiction. To save you the trouble, we’ve covered eight of the most common allergy myths out there.
What Is an Environmental Allergy?
First, let’s define what an environmental allergy is. Put simply, an environmental allergy is your immune system having an overreaction to harmless substances in your everyday environment. Environmental allergies can be indoor or outdoor allergies, and they can also be seasonal or year-round, depending on your allergens.
Allergens are what cause your immune system to overreact and go into defense mode. Here are some of the most common allergens:
- Pollen: Tree and grass pollen allergies are especially common.
- Pets: Individuals are often allergic to the dander of cats, dogs, and other domestic animals.
- Mold: Mold is a type of fungus that releases spores that trigger allergic reactions in some people.
- Dust: Dust mites are tiny microscopic bugs that can cause allergic reactions.
- Cockroaches: People can be allergic to droppings and saliva from cockroaches.
Reactions to environmental allergens can range from mild to severe, and they will vary from person to person.
Myths About Allergies
Now that we know what environmental allergies are and some of the most common environmental allergens, let’s talk about common myths and misconceptions people have about their allergies.
1. Pollen and Food Allergies Don’t Overlap
It’s a common myth that tree and grass pollen allergies have nothing to do with food allergies or that they are separate allergens. Several foods are related to certain trees, grasses, and weeds that can cause a reaction known as oral allergy syndrome. This can make your mouth and throat scratchy or inflamed when you consume these associated foods.
These are a few examples of pollen and food overlap:
- Grass: peaches, melons, celery, oranges, potatoes
- Birch tree: almonds, apples, apricots, cherries, celery, kiwi fruit, peanut, plum, walnuts
- Ragweed: bananas, squash, zucchini, honeydew, cucumbers, cantaloupe
This is just a small sample of the foods that can cause a reaction in those who suffer from pollen allergies. In rare cases, ingesting an allergen can lead to anaphylaxis, which requires emergency medical attention.
2. Eating Local Honey Helps Relieve Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
A common homeopathic treatment for relieving seasonal allergy symptoms is eating local bee honey. The idea behind this method is sound – the bees collect local pollen, and introducing small doses of an allergen to your system can help your body get used to it.
However, the problem is that pollen can travel very far, and the pollen you get might not be local to the area. Plus, the dosage of the honey isn’t enough to make a meaningful difference to change your body’s allergy response.
3. You Can’t Tell Colds and Allergies Apart
This common misconception isn’t entirely unfounded. Colds and allergies share several symptoms, including nasal issues, sneezing, and coughing. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to tell the difference.
For one, each has symptoms that the other doesn’t. Colds are often accompanied by body aches and fever. These are not allergy symptoms. Allergies often involve itchy or watery eyes, which aren’t common with a cold. These differing symptoms can help you determine if you’re currently dealing with a cold or allergies.
Also, colds typically clear up after a week or so. Allergies tend to stick around for the season or sometimes throughout the year. To determine what is causing your allergy symptoms, get an at-home allergy test from Wyndly!
4. The Only Treatment Is to Avoid Triggers
While it’s true that avoiding allergy triggers is a great way to prevent symptoms, it’s not the only method of treatment.
You can manage symptoms with over-the-counter medication like antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops.
You can also find long-term relief from allergies using a treatment called immunotherapy, which exposes your immune system to small, gradually increasing doses of your allergen. This allows your body to adapt over time and stop reacting to your allergy triggers. Immunotherapy can be administered through allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy, also known as allergy drops.
Immunotherapy is incredibly safe, and allergy drops, in particular, are convenient and pain-free for those who want to find more complete relief.
With Wyndly our doctors will create you a personalized treatment plan to help you train your immune system to stop reacting to your allergy triggers, even when they’re present in your environment.
5. People With Pet Allergies Are Not Allergic to Hypoallergenic Breeds
One of the most common misconceptions people have about pet allergies is that the fur or hair from an animal is triggering their symptoms. In truth, your immune system is reacting to dander (their skin cells) or their saliva.
Some studies show that there isn’t a truly hypoallergenic breed of dog. According to a study in the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, there was a negligible difference between the level of dog allergens present in homes with hypoallergenic dogs when compared to other homes.
With this in mind, if you love a pet you’re allergic to, there are ways you can curb your reactions or even avoid reactions altogether:
- Keep your pet off furniture, out of bedrooms, etc.
- Use a HEPA filter in your home.
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter frequently.
- Wash your hands after contact with your pet.
- Bathe your pets often.
- Use allergy medication.
- Try immunotherapy to help you adapt to your pet.<p>
Get your personalized treatment plan now from our dedicated doctors at Wyndly to get long-term relief from your pet allergies.
6. Allergens Aren’t Present in the Winter
While many people don’t have allergies in the winter months, this isn’t true for everyone. Since you typically spend more time indoors, indoor allergens are especially prevalent in the winter months.
Also, seasonal allergies can sometimes extend into or start in what would typically be considered winter months if the climate is warm enough. Allergies to pollen from the mountain cedar, also known as a cedar fever allergy, are also common during the winter months. That being said, it is true that generally outdoor allergies will be less of an issue for most people come wintertime.
7. You Can’t Develop New Allergies as You Get Older
The truth is you can technically develop allergies at any time. Remember, allergies are a fight response from your immune system to a substance it perceives as harmful. It’s not uncommon for someone’s immune system to react to a substance later in life and develop an allergy to it.
8. Allergies Are for Life
Some people just resign themselves to the fact that they’ll deal with allergies forever. Fortunately, the prognosis isn’t that grim. For one, many children and some adults may outgrow their allergies over time.
But for the unlucky majority who don’t outgrow their allergies, there is a path to fixing allergies that we mentioned earlier. That path is immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy gradually increases your body’s natural resistance to allergy triggers.
Allergy drops are especially great because you don’t have to have a doctor administer them and you don’t have to deal with the painful needles of allergy shots. Allergy drops can be taken from the comfort of your own home, providing you with a more convenient path to long-term relief. If you’re interested in trying sublingual immunotherapy to fix your allergies, Wyndly can help. With our personalized treatment plans, we’re able to deliver allergy drops right to your doorstep.
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Get Your Personalized Treatment Plan
Are you unable to find allergy relief? Or are you sick of just managing symptoms instead of treating them? Wyndly is your solution.
With Wyndly, a dedicated doctor will create a personalized treatment plan for you based on your allergy history and individual needs. Wyndly makes getting lifelong allergy relief convenient and easy. If you’re interested in fixing your allergies for good, get your personalized treatment plan from Wyndly today.