Seasonal Allergies: Facts and Myths

March 23, 2015

With all the beauty of spring, flowers blooming and birds chirping, comes the not so beautiful – allergies. There is so much information out there about what causes allergies, how to treat them, what to do and what not to do. How do you break through the clutter of information and figure out what’s fact and what’s actually a myth? We’re here to help!

“Seasonal allergies are nothing to worry about – just ignore them!”
MYTH
Ignoring your springtime allergies is a bad idea that can in fact lead to much worse conditions. What starts off as itchy watery eyes can lead to respiratory infections! What’s more, you don’t want to miss out on social events, recreational activities and potentially even school or work due to pesky seasonal allergies. Get tested and take the proper steps to treat your allergies and reduce (or remove) symptoms!

“Pollen is just as bad everyday, it makes no difference!”

MYTH
Some days the pollen can be worse than others. Did you know you can actually check the weather net-work to see the daily pollen count in your area? The website www.pollen.com even allows you to create a custom dashboard and track which days are the best and worst for your allergies! On days when the pollen count is especially high do your best to stay indoors and if you need to go outside, take the proper precautions and also use your air conditioner to ensure the air is properly being filtered in your home.

“Over the counter medications don’t actually work.”
MYTH
Seasonal allergies are an issue for a large percentage of the population and therefore there are a num-ber of viable over-the-counter options that are very helpful. Eye drops range from alleviating redness, itchiness and watery eyes all caused by seasonal allergies. If you find your allergies to be mild, this may be the best option for you. However, to be safe in choosing a product, be sure to consult your eye doc-tor before purchasing.

“I never had allergies as a child so I cant develop them now that I’m an adult.”
MYTH
Sadly, pollen or other common allergens can begin to affect you at any point in your life. Something as simple as a change in environment can cause your unknown allergies to trigger. In trying to determine whether you’re showing symptoms of a new allergy or simply developing a cold it’s important to consult your doctor. A simple skin test can show which allergens are negatively affecting you.

“Rain washes away pollen.”
FACT
Although it’s not a ‘cure all’ for those who suffer seasonal allergies, heavy rainfall will help to significant-ly reduce pollen levels. Therefore, if you’re someone who has severe pollen allergies it’s often best to go outdoors after a heavy rainfall. Additionally, pollen counts tend to be low on chilly days and highest on hot, windy days.

“Hay fever is only triggered by and around hay.”
MYTH
Though the name may trick you, hay fever isn’t actually triggered by hay and is not even a fever! Trees, weed pollen and grass trigger hay fever in are what actually trigger hay fever. If you find yourself with bad hay fever, it’s best to avoid the more rural areas.

“If you get regular allergy injections it will ease your allergy suffering.”
FACT
Allergy shots, known as immunotherapy, work by building up your tolerance to offending substances by exposing the patient to very small doses. Regular injections can greatly reduce allergy symptoms and are the closest thing to a cure for seasonal allergies that exists. Though it’s a lengthy treatment plan, many people sing its praises!

SURVIVAL CHECKLIST
Now that you know the facts and myths of seasonal allergies, take these easy measures to ensure that your allergy suffering is kept to a minimum:
• Leave your shoes at the door
• Keep your home’s humidity level low
• Wash your hands often (especially before bed)
• Close your windows (they let the pollen in!)
• Make sure all the air filters in your home are changed regularly
Do you have preventative measures you take to ease your seasonal allergies? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

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