Thursday, 12 December 2013

Allergy Myths - Part 2

 
This is a continuation from Part 1. Are any of these myths familiar to you?

#4 Myth: Relocating to another region can cure allergies

Reality: Unfortunately, this is not true. Moving away from the source of allergen may temporarily relieve your allergies. But it is a fact that allergic people are prone to developing new allergies because our immune system is not functioning right. So it is common that the allergic symptoms reappear within a few years after exposure to new plants, or other sources of allergen.


I have had first hand experience with this when I relocated to a new country for half a year. My allergy went away and I have never felt better with my nose and breathing. Pure bliss! When I returned to my home country, my allergy came back right away. At that time, I wished I could relocate permanently! But upon checking with my GP (general practitioner), he confirmed that this relief is temporary and had I stayed on longer, its very likely I would develop other new allergies.



 # 5 Myth: You can't develop allergy to animals if you don't own pets


Reality: Animal allergens can be carried on clothes and shoes. This may sensitize people who do not have pets themselves and cause allergic symptoms in sensitized people.

Well, I should know this better. I have never owned a pet in my life, but yet surprisingly, my skin prick test showed that besides being allergic to dust mite, I am also allergic to dogs.


#6 Myth: Flowers are a cause of allergy
 
Reality: It is unlikely that flowers are the cause of your constant sneezing and itchy eyes. This is because allergies are primarily caused by wind-pollinated plants whereas flowers are generally reproduced by insects. Flower pollen are larger than tree pollen which are spread through the air, and then breathed in by humans, causing those nasty allergic symptoms.

Dr. James Li, Chair of the allergy division at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn said that this misconception arises as flowers have pollen that is highly visible. But these flower pollen does not become airborne and there are not high concentrations of it in the air, like the pollens from trees, grasses and ragweed.