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Allergy Season Myths Debunked

Posted: 03/19/2012 8:42 am

By Hanna Brooks Olsen for

This year's relatively warm winter led to a mild flu season that was the latest in over two decades. Which was nice, because it meant fewer people were sick overall. But now, those same mild months may mean a perfect storm of sniffling and sneezing, because they could lead to an early onset of allergy season, creating an overlap between the two. Yup, that runny nose may not be due to a late-blooming flu, but rather, prematurely high pollen counts. It's time to brush up on your seasonal allergy knowledge to make sure you can separate myths from facts.

Just as flu myths and wive's tales prevail during the chilly months, when the first crocuses begin to bud, so, too, do the fallacies surrounding allergy season. Seemingly-sensible pieces of advice (like eating local honey) get passed between friends, old assumptions (like that flowers cause irritation) get repeated and, as a result, people suffer through watery eyes and sniffly noses, waiting for relief that probably won't come.

Flip through this gallery to see some of the most commonly-held allergy myths, and why they're simply not true. Good luck this season!

MYTH: Eating Local Honey Fends Off Allergies
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A lot of people believe that delicious honey will make them immune to pollen. But there's one huge flaw in that logic, which makes this a myth: The kind of pollen in honey isn't really the same kind that causes seasonal allergies.

Unlike immunotherapy, like the kind that allergy shots provide, honey isn't specifically designed to deliver the same kinds of pollen that irritate the eyes and nose. So while eating local honey seems logically sound, it isn't.

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Flickr photo by Dan Phiffer

For more on allergies, click here.


Filed by Sarah Klein  |