When someone has an allergy, it means their immune system is overreacting to something in the environment it considers to be foreign (like a virus or bacteria), but for the most part is benign.
An allergen could be mold, tree pollen or pet dander. It could be an insect sting, medication or food. What about an allergic reaction to a vaccine?
Does everyone with an allergy need to carry an EpiPen? Do allergies ever go away? Does local honey help treat allergies? Can adults develop allergies?
Allergies are very common and can severely impact quality of life. The good news: we don’t have to live with allergy symptoms.
In this episode, host Mark Gomez, MD, and his guest, Zachary Rubin MD, talk about common types of allergies and treatment, and bust some of the myths about allergies.
Myths vs. Facts
“Allergy sufferers can live full, healthy lives.” – Fact
Allergies can impact quality of life but there are many ways to treat the symptoms.
“Pollen counts can predict bad allergy days.” – Fact
If you’re able to get the pollen count early in the morning, it can be correlated to potential symptoms. Get an allergy test to determine what pollen you’re allergic to.
“Short-haired pets do not trigger allergies.” – Myth
The hair is not the issue. It’s the skin cells, saliva and urine.
“You can cook allergens out of food.” – Both
If you have a true life-threatening food allergy, you can’t cook it out. If it’s a mild oral allergy, you could cook out the proteins that cause the symptoms.
“In a restaurant, picking out a particular allergen (like picking nuts out of a recipe once it’s served) within a meal lowers your chance of developing a reaction.” – Myth
When it comes to food, your server may not know all the ingredients in a dish. Your food may be cross-contaminated — prepped in a dish that was used to cook an allergen. But it’s OK to ask. Check with the chef or server about ingredients and preparation.
“Rain washes away pollen.” – Fact
Pollen counts run lowest when it’s chilly or foggy. Hot, dry and windy conditions help pollen circulate. Rain will weigh down pollen. However, mold counts go up when it’s damp.
“Benadryl can be helpful for anaphylaxis.” – Myth
The issue is when you experience anaphylaxis, the most effective medicine is epinephrine (an EpiPen). It works quickly. Within minutes it will clamp down blood vessels and help reverse the allergic reaction. Benadryl takes time to be absorbed in the body and helps with symptoms such as itch.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
“I did some resistance band strength exercises for 20 minutes and bicep curls while sitting at my work from home station.” – A.B