Under Your Skin and Out Your Nose: 5 Major Misconceptions about Allergies

By Karin Krisher

You may have noticed that spring came early this year—and is bringing allergy season along with it. We certainly have, and we’re sure that there’s got to be a way allergiesto make things easier on us all. At FoodScience, we’re particular fans of Aller-DMG, but before talking about supplementation, there are some allergy facts we should consider—and some misconceptions about allergies that need (cough) clearing up.

Everyone has his or her fair share of “I once had an allergic reaction to” stories, but only some of those are actual allergic reactions. Among allergy sufferers and non-sufferers alike, long-term self-diagnosis often accompanies a short-term reaction. How can you sort through the bunk, and find out what actually affects you?

The obvious answer is: see a doctor—an allergist, preferably. But in the meantime, check out our list of major misconceptions about allergies, and find out if you’ve been sneezing up the wrong tree.

Number 1:

You Either Have Them Or You Don’t.

Allergies are malleable, meaning they can change. Just because you didn’t experience any allergic reactions as a child doesn’t mean you won’t as an adult. Similarly, just because you once broke out in hives after spreading Neosporin on your fresh scrape doesn’t mean you are forever allergic. It is true that people either have a propensity to experience allergic reactions or not—this is called atopy, and can be determined by a doctor. To maintain an actual list of your specific allergens, get tested.

Number 2:

Food Allergies Are The Most Common Type.

No, they aren’t. This one goes back to mind over matter: while one in three people would claim a food allergy, true reactions are actually only seen in about one percent Allergyof adults.

Number 3:

Reactions Are Caused By The Allergen Itself.

Reactions are actually caused by the body’s own immune system. It attacks the allergen in a way that it would attack a virus or infection, through the activation of immunoglobulin IgE.

Number 4:

Pet Hair Is A Major Allergen.

allergiesThis myth is one of the most common. Allergy sufferers are often told that if they get a short-haired or hairless animal, they won’t experience a reaction. In reality, it is not hair, but proteins located in dander, saliva and urine that cause the allergy. In fact, researchers recently made a link between asthma and animals that shows pets can be valuable in ways you wouldn’t imagine.

And our favorite…

Number 5:

Medication Is The Only Support For Allergy Sufferers.

While some over-the-counter medications do provide relief to sufferers, there are many people who are averse to this type of consumable, and would like to try an allergyalternative. Good news—there are plenty. From acupuncture to chiropractic treatments to dietary analysis and subsequent supplementation, you do have choices. You don’t have to choose any of these if you’re interested in just “working through it.” But if you, like so many others, are just sick of the sniffles, consider all your options. Medication is not the only one.

Have you ever had a misconception about allergies proven wrong? Was it relieving or frustrating? Tell us your story!

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