West River ENT & Allergy

Learn the Truth About These 8 Common Allergy Myths

Thanks to books, the internet, and the expertise of allergists, there are some truths about allergies that are fairly widely known among the general public. However, there are also some myths about allergies that are widely believed (thanks to the internet, as well as word of mouth and old wives’ tales).

Today, we’re on a myth-busting mission. Here are eight popular allergy myths that you might have heard before and the truth behind them:

Myth #1: Eating local honey will cure your allergies.
While honey is delicious, it will not solve your allergy woes. There is no scientific proof that eating local honey will ease seasonal allergies. One 2002 study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, found no difference among allergy sufferers who consumed local honey, commercially processed honey, or a honey-flavored placebo.

Myth #2: Children will outgrow their seasonal allergies.
Unfortunately, allergies are not age related. Studies show that the majority of children do not outgrow their seasonal allergies. While many children with allergies continue to experience their allergies through adulthood, it is also possible to develop new allergies as an adult. We are happy to treat patients of all ages, including children, at West River ENT & Allergy.

Myth #3: You can’t be allergic to short-haired pets—only long-haired pets.
Bad news, Fido: there is no such thing as a non-allergenic pet. In fact, the length of a pet’s hair has nothing to do with how allergic you might be to it. People who experience allergy symptoms around pets are not allergic to pet hair; they are allergic to pet dander, which are the skin and body proteins found in the animal’s skin, urine, and saliva. Dander is present regardless of how much hair your pet has.
If your pet causes allergic symptoms, the best solution is to keep the pet outdoors. If this is not possible, keep the pet in an area of the house where you do not spend a lot of time. Avoid keeping your pet in the bedroom to reduce the amount of pet dander and hair on your bedding. In addition, do not allow your pet on furniture and wash your pet at least once a week to help reduce dander levels.

Myth #4: You’re allergic to fresh flowers.
Thankfully, very few people are truly allergic to flowers. Rather, most people’s allergic reactions are due to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. The flowers from those plants aren’t likely to find their way into your home disguised as a beautiful bouquet!

Myth #5: Mold allergies only occur indoors.
Mold can appear anywhere—indoors or outdoors. We often think of damp basements and bathrooms when we think of mold, but mold spores are tiny and can grow both indoors and outdoors. They also love to grow on rotted wood, soil, or wet, decayed leaves. This is especially true in damp weather or climates. That is why most people experience allergic symptoms to mold in the spring, when it is rainy. Most outdoor mold allergens are dormant during the winter.

Myth #6: You’re allergic to down pillows.
Many people believe that down-feather pillows cause allergic reactions. In truth, the materials used in synthetic pillows hold more mold and dust mites than down-feather pillows.

Myth #7: There’s no pollen at the beach.
While the beach might be a great vacation spot, it isn’t pollen-free. Beaches generally have lower pollen counts, but grasses are common near many beaches. In addition, ragweed pollen can be found as far as 400 miles from shore.

Myth #8: Your allergies will get better if you move to a dry climate.
Don’t let allergies rule your life! Moving will probably not be the solution to your allergy problem. First, grass, ragweed, and tree pollens can be found pretty much anywhere—including dry climates. Second, even if you do experience a break from your allergy symptoms, it is likely to be short lived. You may experience reactions to allergens in your new home climate within one to three years after moving.
To learn more about allergies (and bust a few more myths) and to learn about how we can help you better manage your allergy symptoms, we invite you to contact us today at West River ENT & Allergy. We are eager to assist you.

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