If you are an allergy sufferer, you probably are pretty familiar with what sets you off. However, you may also be avoiding certain activities thinking that you will have a problem, when you may not.
Continue reading to learn more about common allergy myths.
Myth #1) Allergies are purely psychosomatic.
Untrue. Allergies are the result of an immune response to a substance your body deems to be harmful, even though it may not actually be. Allergies can be influenced by heredity. As many as 50 million people in the United States suffer from some type of allergic disease, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
At the same time, there can be a mind-body connection.
"Emotional stress can precipitate allergic reactions, and relaxation techniques can moderate them,” said Dr. Andrew Weil. He described to Howstuffworks how a person who is highly allergic to roses could have a reaction seeing a plastic rose. He recommended seeking hypnotherapy to reduce the likeihood of an allergic reaction in those situations.
Myth #2) Hypoallergenic type pets won’t trigger allergies.
This is based on a misunderstanding of how pet allergies work. Nabeel Farooqui, MD, assistant professor of allergy and immunology at Ohio State University Medical Center told Readers Digest that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet.
People are allergic to animal dander, which are white flakes of skin and body proteins found in the animal’s urine, saliva and skin. It is not their hair that's causing the allergy.
Howstuffworks says, “Dogs are half as likely to cause allergic reactions as cats, but if you're allergic to furry animals, the only no-risk pets are fish and reptiles.”
Myth #3) Moving to a Southwestern state will improve your allergies.
This is wishful thinking. There is no safe place for allergy sufferers to escape pollen. In fact, tree pollen can travel hundreds of miles in the wind, so even if you're living in an area that does not have trees with pollen, this does not mean you are safe.