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Debunking 4 Common Allergy Myths

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If you’re a resident of Pennsylvania or New Jersey with allergies, you may find consolation in knowing that the phenomenon isn’t limited to your part of the world. Luckily, there are reliable allergists in Princeton and Robbinsville, such as Kathryn Edwards MD, that can help you with this nuisance.

How Do Allergies Work?

Allergies are an intense response your immune system has to a particular allergen it thinks is harmful. The allergen doesn’t necessarily have to be dangerous to you. Your body will just label it as a threat.

Since it’s the job of the immune system to attack any intruder it deems as a threat, your immune system moves to eliminate the allergen upon detection. This results in inflammation of the skin and sinuses while potentially affecting your airways and even your digestive system.

A runny nose, itchy eyes, and rashes are the most common manifestations of allergies. Sneezing and coughing can also accompany those symptoms as your body tries to cope.

Contrary to popular belief, allergy-sufferers are generally not better off in some parts of the country more than others. Allergens are prevalent all over the world and there’s little getting away from them.

However, this isn’t the only myth that people believe is true about allergies. Let’s debunk four common allergy myths so that you can seek the best answer for your problem.

Myth #1: There Is No Long-Term Treatment for Allergies

Most allergy sufferers accept a fate of seasonal symptoms that can negatively affect their lives. For weeks at a time, sneezing and wheezing can keep them from enjoying their daily activities and interfere with productivity.

Perhaps the most prevalent myth is that you have to continue to suffer through your allergies. Fortunately, there are different levels of treatment that can help you overcome the discomfort beyond the short-term relief of anti-histamines.

Keep in mind, this does not mean that allergies can be cured. They are a sensitivity that sufferers will always carry with them. It does mean, however, that effective long-term treatment is the next best thing.

What Is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is an effective option for mitigating your body’s response to allergens. This method of dealing with allergies involves administering the sufferer small doses of the allergen. With time, the amount is increased in order to get your immune system accustomed to the irritant.

Your doctor will simultaneously give you antihistamines to make sure your body’s reaction is a controlled one. Eventually, your body will reach a point where it will respond to the allergen without the annoying symptoms.

Myth #2: You Build Tolerance to Allergy Medication

Allergy sufferers sometimes believe that they are building tolerance to anti-histamines through continues use. This, of course, makes them feel as if their allergy symptoms are a dead end.

Thankfully, there is no medically-backed evidence to point to people building a tolerance to antihistamines. What you may, however, develop a tolerance to is the drowsiness caused by the medication. This will give you a false sense of developing a tolerance to the medication itself.

If you feel that your anti-histamine regimen isn’t working as it used to, it may be due to a change in your environment. Different ecosystems will trigger different allergic sensitivities. It may just mean you need to have your medication adjusted to deal with your new environment.

Myth #3: Some Dog Breeds Are Better Than Others for Allergy Sufferers

There seems to be a false narrative circulating regarding dogs and how much each breed can trigger allergies. This is due to people mistakenly associating their allergies with the pet’s hair.

If you’re a dog lover, you will be happy to learn that no particular breed affects allergies more than another. This is because allergies may be linked to a dog’s dander, urine, and proteins found in your furry friend’s saliva.

Loose dog hair can get caught in your ventilation and cause other allergens to build up. This may steer you in the direction of owning a dog that doesn’t shed as much. However, if you keep your home clear of pet hair, it won’t matter what breed your dog is.

Myth #4: Allergies Are Harmless

Most allergy symptoms are annoying but harmless. This creates a sense that allergies are harmless.

Severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening when they affect important functions of your body. For instance, an allergy that causes inflammation in your airways can be dangerous if not dealt with immediately.

If we overlook this rare, but real, possibility, there are other issues that allergies can cause. Even seasonal allergies that remain untreated can cause poor concentration. This lack of focus can lead kids to achieve lower test scores during allergy seasons.

Children and young adults that suffer from allergies might see their athletic performance impaired by the condition. Physical activities and schoolwork are important in kids’ lives and allergies can be detrimental to those key aspects of growing up.

Adults might also see their work productivity nosedive during allergy season while their sleep can also be affected. In short, finding a long-term solution to allergies is essential to getting the most out of life.

Take Allergies Out of the Equation

A knowledgeable allergist will help you make allergies an inconsequential factor in your life. The doctor will run tests to determine what allergens are affecting you and propose the appropriate treatment.

Allergy sufferers in the Princeton, NJ, or Robbinsville, PA areas, can contact Becker ENT & Allergy by filling out our contact form to set up an appointment with Dr. Kathryn Edwards. If you would rather call us up, our staff will be happy to assist you at 609-354-7167 for Princeton and 609-354-5495 for Robbinsville.

This content is brought to you by Wahab Ullah.

Photo: Shutterstock

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