Allergy Myths: BUSTED

 

medicalmythbustedWe previously brought you a series of medical and health related stories that were just plain false. Things such as dairy products causing excess mucous production, getting sick from the air in a plane cabin, and connections between stress and high blood pressure turned out to be just plain false. Well, we’ve just officially entered spring, but a very mild winter for most of the US has led to a much earlier allergy season than most of us are used to. We thought it was time to bust some allergy myths so that you can put your best preventative foot forward this year.



Many people have allergies that are caused or worsened by pollen. Pollen exists in multiple forms, and the kind that comes from trees and weeds is airborne. This is what causes 99% if not 100% of all seasonal allergies. A lot of people think that flowers do the same thing, but it’s simply not true. The pollen produced by flowers is sticky, and has to be transported by bees and other insects. You don’t have to stay away from flowers this spring, just don’t roll in a bed of roses or tiptoe through the tulips and you’ll be just fine.



Some people think that pollen counts don’t really matter, but that’s just not the case. Local pollen counts are actually pretty accurate at determining what kind of a day you’ll have in reaction to your allergies due to the fact that the allergy inducing types of pollen are what are considered for these counts. When you see those numbers rise, it’s a good idea to keep your antihistamines and eye drops handy, because it’s actually beneficial to medicate for your allergies before you’re even exposed to them. Unlike colds or the flu, taking your allergy medications before you head out can save you lots of pain.



Just because you’ve never had allergies in the past, it doesn’t mean you’re safe forever. A lot of people become more sensitive to pollen and other allergens as they age. If you’re caught off guard by allergy symptoms, start small with something like a saline rinse from a neti pot for your sinuses and see how that helps before consulting an allergist for tests or medications you might not need.