Since allergies are part of the health world, it might seem like what we know about allergies is pretty straightforward. However, many people believe several common myths about allergies. Knowing the truth is key to choosing the best options for managing and treating your allergies. Here are a few common myths about allergies and the truth you need to know.
Allergy Myth #1: You can’t have allergies in winter.
If you are familiar with seasonal allergies, you might think winter is an allergy-free season. After all, most people with seasonal allergies experience symptoms during the spring and summer when pollen counts are high. While it is true that you are unlikely to experience pollen or grass allergies during the winter, there are plenty of allergies that can still cause symptoms during the cold months.
Although pollen counts are low during the winter, you can still experience symptoms due to other allergens, such as spores and dust mites. Other allergies, like food allergies or pet dander allergies, are in full swing year-round. In addition, some people are allergic to cold temperatures. This condition is called cold urticaria. In severe cases, this can cause anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.
Allergy Myth #2: Antihistamines should be taken after you experience allergy symptoms.
False! If you have seasonal allergies, you may be used to taking antihistamines after you begin experiencing allergy symptoms. While the medication will still work if you take it after your symptoms begin, it can be more effective to take the antihistamines before you come into contact with the allergen and start experiencing symptoms. This can work to prevent potential allergic reactions.
You might want to begin taking antihistamines about two weeks before a certain allergy season begins. Take your medication daily (or as directed) to significantly reduce your symptoms. If you have questions about how often or when to start taking antihistamines, you can ask your allergy doctor.
Allergy Myth #3: Allergies are incurable, so you just have to deal with them as part of your life.
While there is no “cure” for allergies, there are many ways to effectively treat and manage allergies. You don’t need to resign yourself to suffering through life with unpleasant allergy symptoms! If you have seasonal allergies, antihistamines can be an effective treatment. Other medications are also available to help you manage your symptoms.
If you have a food allergy, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy. The goal of immunotherapy is to gradually expose your body to a small amount of the allergen and, over time, lessen your body’s reaction to the allergen. Immunotherapy can be an effective way to improve your symptoms and reduce your reliance on medications.
Knowing the truth about allergies can help you better understand your options for treating and managing your allergy symptoms. To learn more about the facts and myths about allergies, and to set up an appointment with our allergist, we invite you to contact us today at West River ENT & Allergy. We look forward to speaking with you!