Every time you turn around someone you know is complaining about being allergic to this or allergic to that. Hay fever alone now affects close to 60 million people in the U.S. The more you know about allergies the better you will be able to manage them. With so much information out there, some of it conflicting, it is important to know the facts.
True or false? Cleaner is better.
A little dirt and germs are good for us. It builds up your immune system, so you don't have to endlessly dust and bleach. Instead, try a vacuum with a HEPA filter, change out your air duct filters and take off your shoes before you come into the house. Remember, it’s the small tiny wind-pollinated allergens that cause us the most irritation. Reduce the pollen and increase the germs.
True or false? Pollen allergies only affect us in Spring?
One of the most common misconception about pollen and seasonal allergies is that the season is short. The spring allergy season can actually start in mid-February. There are generally two peaks with pollen allergies: tree pollen (early in the season) and then the grass pollens which come out in late April and early May. The “Spring” allergy season can run as long as 5 months.
True or false? If you didn’t have allergies when you were little you won’t have them now that you are grown.
You can develop an allergic reaction to anything at any time. It begins with exposure. Even if you've inhaled pollen or mold many times before with no trouble, at some point, for some reason, the body flags it as an intruder. During this particular exposure, the immune system studies the allergen. It readies itself for the next exposure by developing antibodies. Then, the next time you're exposed to the allergen, your immune system kicks into action, triggering a scratchy throat or runny nose.
True or false? Only take medications at the start of an allergic reaction?
The best way to get allergy relief is to take allergy remedies on a regular basis and start before pollen season hits. Studies have shown people were able to increase their tolerance and reduce their body’s negative reaction by exposing themselves to tiny amounts of the allergen.