6 Myths About Spring Allergies
Spring is the most difficult period for the majority of people with seasonal allergies. Runny or stuffy nose, itching, red and watery eyes are only a small part of the annoying symptoms experienced by allergy sufferers. While you can find a lot of different information about spring allergies and their treatment, both online and offline, you will also need to take time and sort out which facts are right and which are wrong. Below, you will learn about six popular myths concerning the spring allergy season.
Myth #1: Hay Fever Is Caused by Hay.
The etymology of the term “hay fever” dates back to the 19th century England, when farmers developed sneezing, itchy nose and other fever-like symptoms after baling hay. First, hay itself was considered to be the cause of these symptoms, but then it was found that these were allergic reactions triggered by mold spores contained in the hay. Even though the symptoms of allergy may resemble those of fever, allergies don’t affect your body temperature. Therefore, technically, “hay fever” has nothing to do with actual fever at all.
Myth #2: Most Spring Allergies Are Caused by Flowers.
One of the most common causes of spring allergies is airborne pollen produced by trees and grasses that is carried by the wind for long distances. To be more specific, some of the allergy-inducing types of trees include oak, pecan and birch, while common allergy-triggering grasses are Timothy and Bermuda grasses.
Speaking about flowers, allergic reactions to them are very rare. Besides, pollen from flowers is carried by insects, which means there’s hardly any flower pollen in the air.
Myth #3: Local Honey Can Improve Your Pollen Allergy.
Some people believe that local honey made by pollen-carrying bees contains some of that pollen and eating this honey can help to improve your pollen allergy symptoms. The idea is that consumption of pollen grains found in local honey can desensitize you to the pollen. This theory might work in practice, but the pollen contained in honey is not the one that triggers allergies. Therefore, honey is not likely to help you with your allergy. However, there are many other health benefits that you can get from local honey.
Myth #4: Spring Allergies Can Be Outgrown.
Unlike food allergies, seasonal allergies cannot be outgrown. If you developed a nasal allergy in childhood, you will likely continue to have your symptoms when you get older. Children affected by nasal allergies are also at risk of developing asthma. Besides, nasal allergies don’t necessarily affect children, they can occur in adults and old people, as well.
Myth #5: You Should Start Your Allergy Treatment Once the Symptoms Occur.
Over-the-counter treatments for seasonal allergies, such as antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids, are way more efficient, when started prior to the allergy season. They still can provide relief when the symptoms already occur, but you will get better results, if you start using these meds before the allergy kicks in and continue the treatment throughout the season. When buying a nasal spray, make sure that you choose the right one. Remember that popular over-the-counter decongestants (for example, Afrin, Sinex or Neosynephrine) can only be used for a few days. If you use those for longer periods, you may develop even worse congestion. On the other hand, intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. Nasacort AQ or Flonase) can be used throughout the whole allergy season.
Myth #6: If Allergy Meds Don’t Work, There Is No Other Way to Treat Your Allergy.
Taking allergy medicines is not the only way to treat your allergies. In case, OTC or prescribed medications don’t seem to work for you, you can try allergen immunotherapy. This type of allergy treatment involves consuming small amounts of an allergen through injections or under-the-tongue tablets. Normally, allergen immunotherapy treatment last for three to five years. It can significantly reduce your allergy symptoms or even help you get rid of this disorder completely. Contact your allergist to find out more about immunotherapy.