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Fact or Fiction: Allergy Myths and the Truth

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There’s no room for guesswork when it comes to our health! At Charleston Allergy and Asthma, our board-certified allergists have provided paths to relief for more than 30 years. We’ve seen a thing or two (treated even more), and this experience has made us a trusted source of allergy relief to Lowcountry patients. That includes educating our community on the truth behind allergies.

The Truth Behind Allergy Myths

Allergies can be complex, and understanding the facts is the first step in managing them effectively. These myths may have been debunked, but it’s always best to consult your board-certified allergist with questions or concerns. 

Myth 1: It’s safe to eat a small amount of an allergen.

There’s no such thing as a “safe” amount when dealing with food allergies. The reality is that allergy sensitivity varies greatly among individuals. For some, even a trace of an allergen can lead to severe symptoms like anaphylaxis

The safest approach is eliminating allergens from your diet and diligently avoiding cross-contamination to protect yourself or your loved ones.

Myth 2: Hypoallergenic Pets Mean Allergy-Free Pets.

Sadly…no pet is entirely hypoallergenic. Pets that are considered hypoallergenic, such as doodle mixes, may produce fewer allergens than others, but they can still trigger allergies in susceptible individuals.

Allergens from pets come from their skin cells, urine and saliva – not their fur type – and can become airborne, causing allergic reactions. If you have allergies and are considering getting a pet, consult an allergist and consider spending time with the breed you’re interested in to assess your sensitivity.

The good news is that there are ways you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing pet allergies. Read our blog on the topic to learn how!

Myth 3: Only children can develop allergies.

While some may think of allergies as child’s play, symptoms can develop at any age. Adult-onset allergies can have a number of causes, including contact with a new, undiscovered allergen or an environmental change. For example, an individual with no allergic history moving to South Carolina from another region may find themselves sniffling and sneezing in their new home.

Myth 4: Allergies can be cured.

While some allergies can persist throughout a person’s life, others may fade or change over time. Allergies can vary in intensity and sensitivity, and some people may become less allergic to a particular allergen with time, although this is not guaranteed.

There is currently no cure for allergies. However, immunotherapy (allergy shots) is considered the closest thing. This long-term treatment involves a series of injections, each introducing the immune system to increased amounts of a trouble allergen until it adapts and no longer reacts. Consult an allergist to assess your allergy needs and determine which course is best for you.

Myth 5: Flower pollen is a major allergen.

Many people assume flower pollen is a major allergen responsible for seasonal allergies. In reality, flower pollen is large, waxy and heavy, making it unlikely to become airborne and cause allergies. Instead, the smaller, lightweight pollens from trees, grasses and weeds typically trigger allergy symptoms.

P.S. Use a pollen meter to plan your day and avoid pollen allergy symptoms during peak seasons.

Gain clarity on your allergies!

Ready to clear up confusion around your allergy symptoms? Charleston Allergy and Asthma’s board-certified allergy and asthma specialists are ready to support you on the road to allergy relief with allergy testing, personalized treatment plans and immunotherapy treatments. We are now part of Allergy Partners, continuing to provide excellent care for our patients. Contact our team to schedule your next allergy appointment

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