Allergy season is among us, and many individuals will find themselves riddled with itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose. While almost 60 million Americans suffer from hay fever, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around about the condition. Though it may seem unimportant regarding ailments, it's challenging to live with if you are one of those who is afflicted. We've put together five of the most common misconceptions about allergies and allergy season.
1.Your Allergies Can Change Over Time
As we age, our allergic reactions can also change. You are especially susceptible to additional allergy issues if you exhibited symptoms as a child. According to research, you can develop new allergies at any stage in your life. Some of the reason relates to changes in the exposure to or the intensity of an allergen present. If genetically speaking allergy issues run in your family, you are at a higher risk of accumulating additional problems. Many adults treat allergy issues with shots, for say grass pollen, but if you are one of the individuals who have allergic tendencies, years down the road it's possible your body could develop an allergy to trees or weeds that weren't previously an issue.
2.You Can Develop Hay Fever as an Adult
Most allergy issues emerge early in childhood or as teenagers, but it's possible to suffer from allergic rhinitis at any age. Some studies have shown that even the elderly have exhibited significant symptoms of hay fever much later in life. Again, much of your susceptibility relies on your genes. If your family members are prone to seasonal allergies, it's not uncommon for you to have issues too. How or why this allergic response happens so late in life is still being researched. The biggest problem is leaving it untreated. If you haven't suffered from hay fever related issues before, you might not recognize the correlation between the running nose and itchy watery eyes.
3.Moving to a Different Geographic Region Doesn't Cure Allergies
Different allergy concerns affect different parts of the country. Moving, while it may temporarily relieve your problems, won't cure you of seasonal allergies. Though you might not have direct contact with the previous allergen, the ability to develop a hay fever response to a new allergen is highly likely. The truth is, every region has environmental issues that can trigger itchy, watery eyes, and a runny nose.
4.Get the Most Out of Your Antihistamines Before You Have Symptoms
Trying to eliminate seasonal allergy symptoms is much harder than if you took precautionary steps to prevent them in the first place. Histamine is an immune response that attempts to hustle the allergen out of the body. As they try to rid the body of the offending particle, you will tear up, sneeze, itch, or whatever else it might take to complete the job. The only issue is when allergies are present, and the histamine is in the system, it takes a little longer to reduce congestion and soothe sneezing. Getting the most out of your antihistamine would start with ingesting the medication before there are any uncomfortable symptoms. The best preventative treatment would include starting antihistamine intake at least two weeks before the pollen or allergen emerges.
5.Allergies Can Trigger Asthma Problems
Asthma and allergies are a little more interconnected than many individuals think. Many children who are asthmatic have some form of environmental allergies. In fact, many ENT specialists notice an increase in asthma-related incidents during allergy season than any other time of year. This epidemic is commonly referred to as allergic asthma, and the primary symptoms associated with it are:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
If you experience any of these issues, antihistamines aren't going to help very much. Seek treatment from a doctor who can prescribe inhaled steroid or other types of medication to address asthma.
For more information about allergy relief, contact the ENT specialists at OAT. We have a record of successfully treating and identifying seasonal and airborne allergies in our patients. Schedule an appointment today to find relief now.