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4 Myths About Seasonal Allergies

August 13, 2018

Seasonal allergies affect millions of Americans. During the spring and summer, many take the opportunity to head to their nearest pharmacy to stock up on antihistamines or troll through online search results trying to find a way to relieve their symptoms. There are, however, a lot of misconceptions floating around falsely articulating just how allergies start and what you can do to prevent issues. Nothing replaces a visit to your allergist to develop a personalized treatment plan. But with so much false information circulating, we wanted to outline some of the biggest myths about seasonal allergies.

Myth 1

Regular use of allergy medication will create a tolerance.

Many patients believe, continued daily use of allergy medications will eventually cause tolerance. Multiple studies have confirmed, this is not the case. There are a few reasons why avid users may find their symptoms returning. Honesty with your daily intake of medication is a must. If you aren't prescribing to the treatment plan set forth by your doctor, you will find you are exhibiting symptoms. Regular users who don't skip doses, are commonly susceptible to new allergens and might require a change in prescription or medications.

Some patients find that moving to a new town, city, or state subjects them to a whole host of new allergens. The pollen count, intensity, and substance vary across the country. What didn't bother you in one area could bother you in another. Any longer or more intense allergy seasons can require you to seek additional help from your ear, nose, and throat specialist.

There are nasal sprays that do provide temporary relief from congestion. It's not uncommon for doctors to see some form of dependence occur with regular use from this form of medication. If not used carefully, the congestion can come back. Avoid this pitfall by adhering to the rules outlined by your doctor.

Myth 2

Treat allergies when you begin to see pollen.

Spring and summer is the peak time for allergists and their patients. Too many individuals are waiting until there is a yellow dusting of pollen before they start to find help. When winter begins to dissipate is when you should start working on your allergies. The best way to treat them is to prevent them from happening in the first place. At the very least, most doctors recommend their patients start two weeks before the official allergy season begins.

Myth 3

Eat local honey to cure allergies.

Honey is filtered with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It's also one of the only foodstuffs that never spoils. Claiming that it can cure allergy problems is possible only if the honey is raw and made from the plant that causes the allergies. The idea in this theory revolves around bees moving from plant to plant collecting pollen spores that are eventually transferred into honey. Allergy shots work in a similar method.  But, the reason allergy shots work so well is their high-concentration of allergens. If you need relief, visit your ear, nose, and throat doctor. 

Myth 4

Pollen from flowers causes allergies.

Popular culture often sums up the season in a photo depicting a blue sky and an open field full of flowers. Yes, flowers pollinate, but they typically aren't the reason for seasonal allergies. Trees and grass are the biggest culprits but don't take the blame because they don't flower. Trees like oak, maple, and birch produce pollen that is wind-borne and can travel for miles. Because these trees are larger, they also produce significantly more pollen than flowers. Any tree that does have flowers such as dogwoods and magnolias attract insects who do the pollination for them. As a result, their pollen is rarely airborne.

For more help with managing your seasonal allergies, you can visit our website or schedule an appointment to see one of our allergists.

Don't forget to download our Seasonal Allergies Handbook.

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Topics: Allergies