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May 28, 2008 at 3:41 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Seasonal Allergy Myths

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Those who suffer from seasonal allergies know all too well the severity of the allergy. Those who've never experienced seasonal allergies often underestimate the intensity of the symptoms Here are some common myths which surround seasonal allergies.

Seasonal Allergies are Minor Nuisances

For some people, seasonal allergies are simply minor annoyances.  But for many other people, seasonal allergies affect all aspects of life for up to 9 months of every year, and often into the winter. Apart from the constant sneezing, itching, watery eyes and congestion, seasonal allergies can affect other areas of life as well. Those with seasonal allergies often have trouble sleeping due to nasal drainage and congestion. Antihistamines are known to cause brain fog which make us feel fatigued, sluggish and fuzzy in the brain. People with seasonal allergies are much more likely to develop other health conditions as a result, including asthma, sinusitis (sinus infections), ear infections, bronchitis, colds and upper respiratory infections.

You'll Outgrow Your Seasonal Allergies

Some people may outgrow seasonal allergies, but most do not. For some, allergies may actually worsen as we age. Children's allergies, if left untreated, can become much worse as they grow older. Either way, the severity of symptoms can change from year to year; you may hardly notice your allergies one year and be miserable the next.

Frequent Exposure to Allergens can Cure Allergies

This myth probably stems from the use of allergy shots, or immunotherapy, where a doctor injects small doses of the allergen into your skin. Over time, your body becomes less receptive to the allergen. Once you reach an optimum dose, you'll still need allergy shots every 6 to 12 months. Immunotherapy is performed in a controlled environment where the precise, known allergen is administered in very small doses. If you are allergic to a pet, chances are living with the pet will only worsen, not ease, your allergies.

Staying Indoors Prevents Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

You may find relief indoors from seasonal allergies, and certainly indoors may be better for you than outdoor air. However, due to the amount of traffic coming into our homes, allergens are just as common inside. We carry common allergens such as pollen, mold, dust, and more on our jackets, clothing, hair and shoes. Your pet can bring seasonal allergens inside as well. To make your home as allergen-free as possible, be sure to clean regularly. Dust and vacuum while wearing a mask if needed. Make sure your air filters are changed regularly, along with bedding, blankets, curtains and rugs. Bathe your pet frequently, especially if it's an outdoor pet.

A Dry Climate Can Relieve Seasonal Allergies

Every climate is going to have potential allergens. Chances are if you're allergic to something in one climate, you may find temporary relief if you move, but you'll eventually develop a new allergy in a drier climate. There will be pollinating plants no matter where you go.

It's a Cold, Not Seasonal Allergies

While some blame their seasonal allergies on cold, chances are if you develop a cold at the same time every year, it's an allergy. While symptoms of a cold and allergies are similar, colds have some tell-tale signs. Seasonal allergy symptoms most commonly include sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and congestion. Symptoms of a cold may include coughing, body aches, fatigue, sneezing, sore throat and congestion. Colds usually last 3 to 14 days; seasonal allergies may last much longer.


Photo Credit: Susan NYC

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