May 7, 2021

The Top 8 Allergy Myths You Need to Stop Believing Right Now

More than 50 million people are living with allergies in the United States, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. And most of those allergens are related to seasonal and environmental allergies. We also know that leaving your allergies untreated can lead to asthma, which is responsible for 250,000 deaths annually. So…let’s help you get those allergies identified and treated!

The Myth: “Short-haired pets are less allergenic than long-haired pets.”

There’s really no such thing as a non-allergenic pet. What people with pet allergies are actually allergic to is dander, the skin and body proteins found in the animal’s urine, saliva, and skin. These white flakes are present regardless of the amount of hair a pet has (this is true for all mammals). If your pet makes you stuffy, the best thing is to keep it outdoors. If that’s not possible, keep your pet in a place where you don’t spend a lot of time. Sometimes people think keeping pets in the bedroom is a good idea since you’re not in it for long periods of time, but keep in mind that you don’t want pet hair on your bed and pillows for you to be rolling around in all night long. Additionally, don’t allow animals on your furniture, and wash your pet at least once a week to help reduce dander levels.

The Myth: "Eating Local Honey Will Cure My Allergies."

While it may be tasty, there is no scientific proof that eating local honey will improve seasonal allergies. And most allergies don’t step from the type found in honey. One study, published in 2002 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, showed no difference among allergy sufferers who ate local honey, commercially processed honey, or a honey-flavored placebo. Even if the local honey contains pollen, it’s unlikely to help your allergies and is not a long-term cure.

The Myth: "Don’t Give Me Fresh Flowers, I’m Allergic.”

Very few people have allergic reactions to a bouquet of beautiful blossoms. The pollens made by trees, grasses, and weeds are usually to blame. But you're not likely to put flowers from those plants in a vase!

The Myth: "Kids Will Outgrow Your Seasonal Allergies."

It may make you feel a little better by believing that your child will eventually outgrow their allergies, but studies show that this is not the case and it ends up being a disservice to children. At Aspire Allergy& Sinus we test for allergies and treat children for environmental allergies from the age of 6 months up.  

Additionally, while many have allergies as a child and they continue into adult hood, many develop allergies in adulthood when they never had an allergy issue in their childhood. Even if you think you’ve overcome a childhood allergy, some symptoms can come up again.

The Myth: "Mold Allergies Only Show Up Indoors."

Mold spores are teeny, tiny and can show up anywhere. When we think of mold we think of basements and bathrooms but mold spores grow on soil, wet, decayed leaves, rotted wood, especially in damp weather. Most people are more likely to have an allergic reaction to mold in the spring and summer when it rains. In winter, most outdoor mold allergens are dormant, but as plants grow back in the spring, so does mold.

The Myth: “If I move to a place with a dry climate, my allergies will get better.”

Please, don’t change your entire life to escape your allergies. Moving to a dry climate most likely won’t cure your allergies and will only present a different set of problems.  Grass, tree and ragweed pollens are found nearly everywhere. A climate change may curb your symptoms, but your relief could be short-lived. You may have reactions to allergens in your new environment within one to three years after moving.

The Myth: “There’s No Pollen At the Beach.”

The coast can be a nice vacation spot for people with allergies. Beaches generally have lower pollen counts, but grasses are common near them, and ragweed pollen can be found as far as 400 miles out to sea.

The Myth: “My down pillow is giving me allergies.”

Many people think that feather pillows cause allergic reactions but most evidence shows that the materials used in some of the synthetic pillows can retain more mold and dust mites than feather pillows.

Get the Answers and the Relief You’ve Been Waiting For!

Most of our patients have suffered from their allergies for years and have been taking over the counter medications for years as well. Over the counter and even prescription antihistamines are solutions that we get used to, but are not long-term solutions, rather they only mask the allergy symptoms. We want you to live your life to the fullest, without allergies or sinus issues. Schedule your appointment with one of our allergy specialists, today!

About The Author:

Richard Wachs, MD