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Does your body completely overreact when things begin to bloom again every spring? Congratulations — you’ve got seasonal allergies! When it comes to dealing with allergies, don't fall for these common misconceptions.

Myth 1: Allergies aren’t genetic.

Incorrect!

While mother nature provides the pollen levels that make you feel awful, your genes play a role as well. If your mother or father is prone to fits of sneezing and watery eyes every spring, chances are you might be too.

 

Myth 2: Pollen is the only cause of spiking allergy symptoms.

Not so!

While pollen is often the main culprit, mold allergies tend to worsen when the weather is rainy or humid. If you are allergic to animals, you may also find that your symptoms worsen when your pets begin to shed their winter coats.

 

Myth 3: Medicine is your only hope for relief

Not true!

Fortunately, you can make behavioral changes to reduce your exposure to allergens. Keep an eye on the pollen count and avoid spending time outdoors when pollen levels are at high levels. You can also work to keep your stress levels low to reduce your symptoms.

 

Myth 4: There is no connection between allergies and asthma.

Sometimes there is!

When your body encounters an allergen, the immune system overreacts and causes symptoms like itchy eyes, coughing and a runny nose. Sometimes, however, the allergic reaction can be more serious. When an allergen triggers the immune system to cause a reaction within the airways and lungs, allergy-induced asthma can develop. Avoiding your seasonal allergy triggers can help, but sometimes prescription medication such as controller medications and rescue inhalers are necessary to control asthma symptoms. 

  

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Is It Time to Stop Self-medicating?

Many over-the-counter allergy medications require weeks to begin working fully, and sometimes they just aren’t enough. The majority of patients with seasonal allergies confirm that self-medicating with over-the-counter options doesn’t fully treat their symptoms.

Signs you might need a stronger allergy medication include:

  • You are taking your medications consistently but aren’t seeing any symptom relief.
  • The relief you do experience isn’t improving over time.
  • Your symptoms still interfere with your daily life — causing you to lose sleep, avoid the outdoors, and feel constantly sick or fatigued.

If you have any of the above, it might be time to speak to your primary care doctor about prescription allergy treatments.

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