I’ve suffered from allergies for as long as I can remember, so while I look forward to the drier weather that summer brings, I dread the constant runny nose and congestion that comes with the season. However, there are certain things that we have accepted as fact that quite simply aren’t true. Here are my top five:
Beaches Are Pollen Free
Well, as someone who grew-up on the coast, this wasn’t one that I was taught to believe, I knew first hand it wasn’t true. But for those inland readers, let me burst a small bubble of hope for you: the beach has just as much issue with pollen as more inland areas. Because of water being rather plentiful in the area of most beaches, vegetation is usually quite abundant. The only known rainforest in the United States sits right next to the Pacific, California and Florida are known for their palm trees, and you could get quite lost in the forested areas in Alaska right along the beach.
Just Wait, You’ll Outgrow Them
Growing up, even my doctor told me to just hang in there, my allergies would be going away. My mother told me to look forward to aging because I no longer would need to worry about what kind of plants I walk past on a hike. Admittedly, I held out hope for quite a while, but the fact is that 99% of children with seasonal allergies never grow out of them. This myth likely came from allergy suffers learning how to combat symptoms better with age, knowing what to avoid, and simply growing used to the problem.
Certain Dogs are Hypoallergenic
For allergy sufferers, pet dander can be an absolute killer. It always seems that those of us that are the biggest pet lovers are the ones that end up having to take the fetal position from allergies every time we want to give a nice dog a petting. This has made certain breeds popular, known as ‘hypoallergenic’ breeds, but a study by Henry Ford Hospital has shown that the effects are minute enough that we can’t pick-up much of a difference with current technology. I think I’ll still suffer through Fido’s wrath, though, but perhaps with the foresight of taking medication first.
Take an Anti-histamine at the First Sign of Allergies
This myth debunking requires a bit of science to explain. Anti-histamines, the medicine used to prevent allergy attacks, works by blocking faulty receptors in our sinuses. These faulty receptors are what cause the reaction to pollen, considering the particles contaminants and demanding that the body get the pollen out of the body, usually through sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, etc.
But anti-histamines take time to work, sometimes hours even. For this reason, anti-histamines should be taken at regular times throughout the day, not used to combat already present symptoms. Instead, look to a decongestant. Those are designed to handle acute symptoms from allergies and sickness, and work much faster.
Hay Fever Comes From Hay
While this seems like something that would be true, in actuality the term ‘hay fever’ is incorrect. Because of the maturity of hay coinciding with allergy season, the two were erroneously connected early on. In fact, though, hay doesn’t possess the right type of contaminants such as pollen to cause seasonal allergies to be set-off in most people. Chances are, your hay fever’s relation to hay is simply timing.