Sinclair Cares: Allergy myths debunked
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.
When spring blooms, most people head outdoors.
But Jennifer Smith remembers her childhood much differently.
“Miserable -- not wanting to go outside and play,” said Smith, who has a laundry list of allergies. “I have allergies to dust mites, cats, dogs, all of your outside pollens, your grasses, your trees, your weed pollens.”
Now, her allergies are treated with shots and an over the counter medication.
As a medical assistant in the office of allergist Dr. David Golden, she helps patients sort out fact from fiction.
In 40 years of practice, Golden has heard it all.
“I think so. but they always surprise me,” he said.
MYTH #1: ALLERGIES ARE HARMLESS
“Anaphylaxis is a generalized total body allergic reaction to food or drugs or insect stings that can be life threatening or fatal in some cases,” he said.
MYTH #2: THE HYPOALLERGENIC DOG
“Fiction. Hypoallergenic dogs do release less of the allergy protein that causes the allergy, but in time it still builds up.”
MYTH #3: MY HOUSE IS SPOTLESS, SO I COULDN'T POSSIBLY HAVE DUST ALLERGIES
“The cleanest most spotless home is still going to have dust mites in certain areas,” Golden said. “My mattress, and your mattress and everybody's mattress…has high levels of dust mites in it.”
In addition to the myths that are out there, there are also a few things that may sound like fiction, but are actually fact.
Thunderstorm asthma is a real thing and can be deadly for people with grass allergies.
“In Australia last year, for example, there were hundreds of emergency room admissions and some deaths, because of thunderstorm asthma, because the thunderstorm basically breaks up all those grass particles and dissolves them in the moisture and throws it back down in the rain, so that rain in that thunderstorm is really grass soup,” Golden said.
If you suffer from allergies, it's best to see a professional---not just to improve the quality of your life, but to possibly save it.