Debunking the Asthma and Allergy “Myths”
There are several misconceptions about asthma and allergy. Let’s help you in dispelling some of them below!
1. Treasure Valley is a “bad” place for people who are allergic to pollen.
Most likely, the misconception exists because of the fact that our environment has four seasons and hence, “high” pollen counts occur in different seasons. However, different people have different pollen sensitivities and hence spring season, which is brutal for one, can be a relief for a patient who is miserable during fall time of the year. It turns out that dust mite, which is such a big problem in humid areas like Florida, is probably the least problem for allergy sufferers in the dry weather of Treasure Valley. Consultation with a board certified allergist can help to improve quality of life in all seasons, all throughout the year. Learn more about seasonal allergies.
2. Short-haired dog are better than long-haired dogs.
There is nothing like “hypoallergenic” pet. The major source of dog allergen protein is skin dander, saliva and urine. Hence, there is no reason to have short-haired dogs over long-haired ones. It is well known that even when cats or dogs are removed from a house, it may take up to four to six months before the pet allergen levels become sufficiently low so as to not cause “allergic” symptoms. Scientific evidence does not support the concept of “hypoallergenic” pets . Hence, we recommend the utilization of established practices in preventing or controlling pet dander allergy.
3. The "topical" corticosteroids (e.g. intranasal corticosteroid spray for allergic rhinitis and inhaled corticosteroids for asthma) cause delayed growth in allergic and asthmatic patients.
Do not confuse these meds with “oral” corticosteroids. The side effects of oral corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone) are definitely very bad however, the intranasal corticosteroid spray for allergic rhinitis and inhaled corticosteroids for asthma have been shown to be free of any growth slowing or any other significant side effects. In long term research studies, these “topical” steroids were found extremely safe in children and adults. Compliant use of these meds in allergic and asthmatic patients could relieve tremendous morbidity and mortality.
4. Innumerable allergy and asthma patients believe that they are “allergic” to perfume or smoke.
Irritants like perfume, cleaning agents, paint sprays or smoke can be extremely bothersome, and causes something called as "irritant rhinitis". This irritation can cause nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing, however, this is not associated with body’s immune response to these substances. Allergic reaction is only possible if the immune system is activated. However, controlling allergies, makes control of these “irritant” induced rhinitis much more tolerable.