If you find yourself coughing and sneezing, or you have itchy eyes during certain times of the year, mainly the spring and fall seasons, you could have seasonal allergies. The most common triggers of seasonal allergies are mold and grass, tree and weed pollen. Let’s separate some of the seasonal allergy myths from facts.
Myth: Most people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies.
Fact: The Food & Drug Administration states that about 36 million people, in the United States, suffer from seasonal allergies. While that is a lot of people, when compared to the total U.S. population, about 326 million, the number really isn’t that high!
Myth: Indoor air is not as polluted as outdoor air.
Fact: Indoor air is five to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air features an array of allergens, like animal hair, dust mites and mold, that may provoke allergy symptoms.
Myth: Hay causes hay fever.
Fact: Hay fever does not cause fever, since allergens don’t increase body temperature. The phrase hay fever came about during the 19th century when farmers in England were bailing hay and experienced feeling feverish, nasal itching and sneezing. It was later discovered that mold spores in the hay were the cause of the allergies and not the hay itself.
Myth: Spring allergies are caused mainly by flowers.
Fact: There are very few people that are allergic to flowers. Why? Because insects transport the pollen in flowers, compared to air transporting the pollen in grasses and trees.
Myth: Kids can outgrow seasonal allergies.
Fact: The majority of kids with seasonal allergies will continue to have them into adulthood!
Myth: Only take allergy medications when symptoms flare up.
Fact: While it is true that most over-the-counter antihistamines, like Claritin and Zyrtec, and intranasal corticosteroids, like Flonase and Nasacort, will treat allergy symptoms after they flare up, these medications actually work best as a preventative treatment.
Myth: Rain storms make allergy symptoms worse.
Fact: Rain storms can actually help to relieve allergy symptoms. When rain storms produce a heavy and steady downpour of rain, those rain droplets can remove the pollen from the air.