Statistics show that over fifty million people in the US suffer from various allergies. This means their immune system is hypersensitive to particular triggers in the environment. The triggers include foods, pets, pollen, insect stings, latex, and certain medications. Allergies may also be inherited. Numerous myths are flying around about allergies. Most people lack an intrinsic understanding of the subject. This also fuels many misconceptions.

Let us review and debunk a few misunderstandings about allergies.

Allergic reactions are not fatal. This is not true. Allergic reactions can turn into fatal situations. Inability to access medication in time or the absence of emergency medical care for the patient could be life threatening. For example, some severe reactions cause anaphylactic shock. This leads to difficult breathing in a short time. It is impossible to predict when a reaction might occur. People with severe allergies are required to carry an epinephrine shot on them at all times.

1. All children outgrow all allergies. It is true that young children are more susceptible to allergies than adults. Additionally, most children outgrow allergies associated with food products such as dairy, wheat, and eggs. This can be achieved with targeted therapy techniques as well as monitored exposure to the products over time. However, some children carry their allergies, especially those related to certain nuts and fish, well into their adulthood. There are also instances where a child may outgrow a specific allergy and retain or grow another. In the same manner, an adult could develop allergic reactions when exposed to new triggers.

2. Honey cures allergies. Some people report less allergic reactions after using honey. Bees pick up pollen from flowers in their search for nectar. Natural honey contains small amounts of this pollen. Local honey can be effective in reducing reactions to flower pollen in the air. Although this may be true, many other types of pollen from plants such as trees and grasses may also be present in the air. Additionally, windy places are prone to foreign pollen from distant regions. In such instances, honey does not provide relief.

3. Pets with long hair increase the risk of reaction to allergies. An animal’s hair does not cause allergic reactions. This means the length of the hair is not a factor. People develop allergic reactions to proteins contained in fluids from the animal such as urine and saliva. Old skin flakes from the animal may also cause allergic reactions. This can be reduced by a thorough and frequent cleaning of your pets. The concept of hypoallergenic pets is a marketing gimmick.

4. You can get allergies from gold jewelry. Pure gold does not cause allergic reactions. Karat weight indicates the purity of the gold in your jewelry. Jewelers may combine other metals with gold to improve the quality in terms of color, strength, and stability. Some of the metals mixed with gold to create jewelry may cause allergic reactions. These metals include copper, nickel, and zinc as well as derivative elements such as brass.

Differentiating the facts from popular belief enables you to understand allergies better. This empowers you to be in a position to manage allergic reactions better and improve the quality of life of your loved ones. It also empowers you to minimize exposure to allergens and related triggers.