No sooner does cold season end that allergy season begins. It’s easy to get cold and allergy symptoms confused, and finding the right tools to treat allergies can be a challenge. Take a look at these answers to allergy myths for tips on how to keep pesky symptoms in check.
1. Allergies and colds have the same symptoms.
Not exactly. Allergy symptoms may include itchy nose, eyes and throat; clear mucus; and symptoms that persist from as little as a few days to a few months. Colds typically end after two weeks; usually occur in the winter; and can cause coughs, aches, fatigue, a sore throat, and a runny nose with yellow mucus. Allergies rarely cause coughs and never cause aches or fever, which are occasional cold symptoms.
2. An air purifier will stop allergy symptoms.
An air purifier will remove airborne allergens, but doesn’t take care of allergens that have settled on clothing or furniture. Wash clothes and shower to remove pollen at night, and try an impervious mattress cover as a shield against dust mites.
3. All allergy medicines cause drowsiness.
Some antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine succinate (Nyquil) can cause drowsiness. Newer antihistamines like loratadine (Claritin) and Fexofenadine (Allegra) are less likely to make patients drowsy. Benadryl may be a better solution for nighttime allergy relief, whereas Claritin is better for the daytime.
4. Moving to the Southwest will cure allergies.
Allergens are everywhere, and there are plenty of plants in the desert that produce pollen. Offenders include sagebrush, cottonwood, ash and olive trees. Moving to the desert may offer temporary relief, but new allergies can develop after a few months.
5. People with pet allergies are allergic to the pet’s fur.
The pet allergen is a protein produced in pet skin and, to a lesser extent, its urine and saliva. There aren’t any non-allergenic breeds, but pets with shorter hair shed less and send less dander into the air. These breeds are a better option to the pet lover with pet allergies.