Debunking Indoor Allergy Myths
If you are one of those who suffers from indoor allergies, you must be well aware of how it feels: nonstop sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and fatigue. And to make it even worse, there are lot of misconceptions out there about how you can prevent an allergy attack or reduce the number of allergens in your house.
We, the allergy experts at “The allergy group” have debunked three most common myths.
Myth # 1: Hypoallergenic pets
You must have heard people saying that if you are allergic to pets, then you can get a hypoallergenic pet. These hypoallergenic pets are supposed to be free of allergens which are responsible for causing allergic reactions in people. But let us bust this biggest myth- “there are no hypoallergenic pets.” Hypoallergenic pets just don’t exist. Many people are not aware that it's not animal’s fur that causes allergy, it's their dander which is a protein found in their skin, urine and saliva. Some dog breeds are sold as hypoallergenic because either they don’t shed fur or shed very little. Since these dogs don’t shed much fur, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to their fur does not spread in the air or on the floor as compared to a fur shedding dog. But according to a study, that makes a very little difference to an allergy sufferer. The term hypoallergenic means “less allergens” and not “non- allergic.” Therefore, if you have pet allergy then make sure you wash your pet at least once a week and use a HEPA air filter in your room.
Myth # 2- Bedding
There are a lot of controversies based on allergies in the bedding industry. A new myth has popped up which says “feather pillows and down comforters cause allergic reactions”. This myth for sure increased the sale of down alternatives and so-called “anti-allergen” pillows. However, researchers have tested both the types of pillows, and they did not find any difference in the number of allergens present. So, what is the reality? The truth is that people are allergic to the dust mites and mold present in pillows and comforters and not the feathers. Therefore, to keep your allergies at bay, always buy a high-quality, tightly-woven casing for your pillow and comforter and wash your bedding regularly in hot water.
Myth # 3- Black mold is toxic
You must have noticed greenish black coating on basement walls or in bathrooms. This is nothing but mold. This black coloured mold has been named as “Toxic black mold”, and it is supposed to be very dangerous even fatal for humans. This is absolutely wrong and the term “Toxic black mold” has no scientific validation. It is a term created by the media. The scientific name of black mold is Stachybotrys. The CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention has mentioned that calling Stachybotrys as “toxic” is not an accurate term. Black mold can cause allergic reactions, but it has not been proven to be toxic. Black mold is just like any other mold and should be treated same for cleaning purposes.
So today we snapped three big myths related to allergies which were slowly gaining popularity in our society. Therefore, if you feel you have an allergy, but you are not sure what you are allergic to, then we recommend you meet our board-certified allergists at The Allergy Group to determine exactly what is the causative agent for your allergy and advice appropriate treatment. Click HERE or call 208-377-4000 to schedule an appointment!