A few months back, I had debunked a some common myths surrounding allergies. It was just the tip of the iceberg and more targeted at food allergies. With more conversations surrounding allergies due to the pandemic, I am back to debunk a few more allergy myths you need to stop believing.
Myth #1: Allergies are a result of bad lifestyle choices
An extremely popular and damaging myth. Allergy sufferers are often shamed that their allergies are due to bad lifestyle choices. Lack of exercise, processed food, not much exposure to the sun, the list goes on. This could not be more false.
Allergies are due to the immune system’s response to the allergen. Although in some case, exposure to perceived allergens in childhood does prevent allergies, it is not always the case. I had my first allergic reaction at the age of six. Born in the pre-globalization era of barely any television, it was definitely not due to a lifestyle choice.
Myth #2: All allergies are curable
Allergies can be managed but not cured. Immunotherapy and allergy shots may dramatically reduce symptoms and the need for medications. It is not a complete cure. Allergy sufferers need to be careful and continue to avoid the allergens. A reaction can surface at any time.
Myth # 3: It is difficult to differentiate between colds and allergies
Although the symptoms overlap, it is possible to differentiate between colds and allergies. Symptoms such as body aches and fever are generally not associated with allergies. Similarly, itchy eyes rarely occur with a cold. Also, allergies are often more persistent.
Myth #4: Natural and Organic food cannot cause allergies
Organic foods may be free of pesticides, but it is the proteins that cause allergic reactions. Someone with a food allergy would still have an allergic reaction irrespective of how the food item is grown or processed.10 Allergy Myths You Need to Stop Believing #CauseAChatter #AllergyAwareness #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
Myth #5: Allergy testing is dangerous
People avoid getting tested as they consider it dangerous. Skin testing can trigger a skin reaction or wheezing, but it is extremely rare. Blood RAST testing is often considered safer for those who are highly allergic.
Myth #6: Hypoallergenic pets are 100% safe
It is a common myth that pets with less hair and those that shed less do not cause an allergic reaction. All allergies to pets are not caused by the fur, but by the dander and protein on their fur. No pet is 100% hypoallergenic.
Myth #7: Air purifier will cure my allergies
Air purifiers are very popular with those suffering from indoor allergies. But they may not be 100% effective. Depending on the type of allergen, the air purifier may not be able to remove the allergen particle. Also, air purifiers with ozone can cause irritation and inflammation in the nose and throat.
Myth #8: Antihistamines can be used to treat allergies
Antihistamines help bring effective relief from the symptoms. But it is not a treatment. Just like an antipyretic medication reduces fever but does not cure the infection. Immunotherapy may be necessary is medium to severe cases.
Myth #9: Allergies get worse with each exposure
One cannot predict an allergic reaction. Speaking from personal experience, a reaction may be exactly the same, more severe, or less severe.
Myth #10: All packaged food items include allergen information
Very few brands in India include allergen information. And they are not always clear, particularly when it comes to trace amounts. An item may be listed as nut-free but include peaches. One of the purposes of this series is to have an impactful discourse so that allergy warnings on food packaging becomes mandatory.Organic food cannot cause allergies? Hypoallergenic pets are a 100% safe? 10 Allergy Myths You Need to Stop Believing! #CauseAChatter #FoodAllergies #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
Did you believe any of these popular myths? More awareness about allergies helps in effective treatment. Follow the allergy awareness series for more discussions around allergies. Let us start a much-needed conversation around them.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical practitioner. The purpose of this series is to bring about awareness. Please consult an allergist/immunologist for queries and overall management of allergies.
As a part of Blogchatter’s Blogging with a Purpose campaign, I am using my voice to highlight something I care about.