HEALTH FITNESS

Allergy Myths: Don't Fall For These This Season

04/16/2013 08:29 am ET | Updated Mar 31, 2015

If the sniffles you're hearing at home or at work are any indication, it's allergy season. And, once again, it's looking like the worst season in history. If that sounds familiar, it is: increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increasingly volatile weather patterns -- both consequences of climate change -- have an impact on pollen levels, according to The Weather Channel. Even if you aren't a regular allergy sufferer, you may find yourself dealing with a host of symptoms -- from watery, itchy eyes to congestion and a persistent cough.

Even for regular sufferers, there is a lot of misinformation about allergies out there. We collected some of the biggest tall tales we've heard. So breathe easy -- at least you don't have to worry about these seven myths any longer:

  • 1 Use Local Bee Pollen To Treat Seasonal Allergies
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  • Here's a good way to land yourself in the hospital: take the very thing that causes an allergic reaction and consume it in great quantity. While some people recommend eating local pollen or honey as a way to "introduce" your body to the very allergens that cause a reaction, to do so can cause a dangerous reaction.
  • 2 Some Foods Can't Cause Allergies
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  • It's true that 90 percent of allergies come from the same eight types of food: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. But that doesn't mean that more unusual food allergies don't exist -- or that any food is off-limits. In fact, everything from apples to marshmallows to meat to wine can be the source of allergic reaction in some.
  • 3 Take An Antihistamine When You Start To Have Symptoms
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  • Once you exhibit symptoms, an antihistamine alone won't do the trick. That's because the medication blocks histamines -- a chemical that your body produces when you have an allergic reaction. If you are experiencing symptoms, your reaction is well underway. Instead, try a decongestant -- either alone or in combination with an antihistamine.
  • 4 Some Dogs Are Hypoallergenic
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  • Many dog breeds do not shed -- such as poodles, labradoodles, Portuguese water dogs and other animals with "hair" as opposed to "fur." But a study conducted in 2011 found that households with such dogs had the same allergen count as households with other dogs.
  • 5 Gluten-Free Eaters Have An Allergy To The Protein
    AP
  • If someone has celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a common misconception is that they have an allergy to gluten -- a component of wheat, rye and barley. In fact, they have an immune response to gliadin, a gluten protein, that triggers the body to attack the small intestine, causing intolerable stomach pain, diarrhea and other indigestion.
  • 6 Childhood Allergies Go Away
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  • While it's possible for children to "outgrow" their allergies, it isn't a given. One Swedish study that tracked 82 patients with so-called hay fever -- allergies to certain tree, grass and weed pollens -- found that 99 percent continued to have symptoms 12 years later, reported WebMD.
  • 7 Moving To The Desert Could Cure Allergies
    WikiMedia:
  • Some allergy sufferers believe that changing locations will rid them of their symptoms. But even if you escape the Northeast's ragweed, the desert will have plenty of pollen-producers that could cause a reaction, including sagebrush and cottonwood.
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