There’s nothing worse than that itchy, runny, stuffy feeling that allergies bring. In order to successfully manage your allergy symptoms, it’s important to know what causes them and what treatments are available and effective. Below we break down some common allergy myths and reveal the truths behind them.
Myth: Only Children Can Develop Allergies
Truth: Allergies can develop during adulthood.
One study examined the prevalence of food allergies among 40,443 adults in the U.S. 10.8% of these participants had food allergies. Researchers found that half of this group developed at least one of their food allergies during adulthood.
Myth: There Is No Treatment for Allergies
Truth: There are many ways to treat allergies. Immunotherapy is the most effective way.
Ideally, you should avoid allergens that trigger symptoms, but sometimes this is not possible or practical. Antihistamines and decongestants can manage symptoms but don’t address the root cause. Immunotherapy works by introducing small doses of allergens into the body so the immune system can build up a tolerance and make you less reactive to them.
Myth: There Are Hypoallergenic Breeds of Pets
Truth: There are no truly hypoallergenic breeds of cats or dogs.
Myth: Food Allergies and Intolerances Are One and the Same
Truth: Food allergies are not the same as food intolerances.
Food allergies are driven by an immune system response where the chemical histamine is produced, which is what triggers symptoms. Food intolerances, on the other hand, do not involve the immune system. Food allergies may be life-threatening whereas food intolerances are not.
Myth: Allergies Last a Lifetime
Truth: Some people “outgrow” their allergies.
In fact, most children outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, soy and wheat. Some allergies, however, like peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, tend to be life-long. To learn more about the truth behind allergies or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call Charleston ENT & Allergy today.