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Seven Allergy Management Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Spring is here! …Are you sneezing yet?

While spring means warmer weather and more time spent outdoors, it also brings along pollen and other allergy triggers that cause symptoms like sneezing, coughing, congestion, and red, itchy eyes. These and other symptoms are enough to make most allergy sufferers want to hide away indoors, which is why an allergy management plan is so important. Even if you are actively managing your allergies there might be things you’re unknowingly doing that make your symptoms worse.

Here are seven of the most common mistakes people make when managing their allergies, and how you can avoid them:

Improper cleaning techniques.
Cleaning your home is an effective way to reduce allergens, but there are a few mistakes that many people make. For example, using scented cleaners or cleaning products with strong fragrances could aggravate your symptoms. Wear a mask while you clean to avoid breathing in allergens that have been stirred up into the air and leave the house for a few hours after you finish cleaning. (Use a damp cloth to better trap dust and other allergens that get kicked up into the air.)

Leaving windows open.
We understand the desire for fresh air, but opening your windows allows pollen to enter your home. Turn on the air conditioning instead if it is hot outside, and make sure your air filter is clean.

Waiting too long to take your medication.
Don’t wait until your symptoms are bothering you to take your medication. Your allergy medication tends to be more effective at preventing symptoms rather than treating them.

Not communicating effectively.
Don’t feel shy about your allergy. If you’ll be attending a party or another event and will need the host to accommodate your allergy, let them know in advance. You should also become more comfortable with communicating the details of your allergy to chefs and restaurant wait staff.

Additionally, you should be open and honest about your symptoms when speaking with your doctor. You may find it useful to keep a diary of your symptoms and discussing it at your next appointment.

Not paying attention to pollen counts.
By knowing the day’s pollen count you will be better able to plan your daily activities. For example, pollen counts are highest in the morning so it’s best to avoid outdoor exercise at that time. By knowing the pollen numbers for the day you’ll be able to minimize your exposure and thereby lessen your symptoms.

Keeping allergen magnets in your home.
Yes, stuffed animals are cute and your down comforter is cozy, but they are also great at collecting allergens. Upholstered furniture and rugs are also allergen magnets. Replacing or removing items like these from your home will help reduce your exposure to allergens.

Allowing pets in your bed.
Even if you don’t have pet allergies, letting your pet into your bedroom and on your bed can be a mistake because they can bring in allergens like pollen, dust, mold and others. It’s better to make your bedroom an allergen- and pet-free area. (You should also know that there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic pet. While some breeds may be less allergy-inducing than others, any animal with fur has the potential to cause symptoms.) For more on pet allergies, check out this Buzzfeed article with common questions answered by our very own Dr. Mainardi.

Do you have questions about managing your allergies? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

How to Safely Travel with Allergies and Asthma

Spring break is just around the corner, and summer will be here before you know it. Are you planning your next big vacation? If you have allergies or asthma, careful planning and communication are essential to ensuring that your vacation is as safe as it is relaxing.

Travelers with allergies should take a page from the Boy Scout handbook: always be prepared. The time leading up to your trip should be spent arranging any special requests or accommodations as well as putting together an “allergy kit” that contains everything you’ll need to manage your allergies while away from home, such as prescription medications, emergency medicine like an epinephrine auto-injector or an inhaler, copies of your emergency care plans, and smaller supplies like tissues. You’ll want to make sure you leave plenty of lead-time for your requests to ensure that venues have time to make the proper arrangements.

Ready to start planning your vacation? Here are our tips:

Car Travel

  • Service your car before your travel date. Make sure that air filters are replaced and clean out the ventilation and air conditioning system.
  • Travel with the windows rolled up and use the recirculation button, if your car has one. This will limit the amount of outside air and pollutants (such as pollen) being pulled into the car’s cabin.
  • If you’ll be traveling in the car for long distances, make a smaller version of your allergy kit that you can bring in and out of the car with you.
  • Keep a bag or cooler of allergy-friendly snacks with you in the car.

Air Travel

  • Check the airline’s allergy policies before booking your flight. You should be able to find this on the airline website. If your not comfortable with a particular airline’s policies, consider traveling with a different company.
  • Make a note of your allergy while booking your flight reservation. Your information can be forwarded to airline employees, such as the gate agent and flight crew. If you have a nut allergy, some airlines will set up a nut free buffer zone around your seat while others may make the flight totally nut free.
  • Planes are usually cleaned at the end of the day, so try to schedule an early flight.
  • Bring your own allergy-friendly food. You may want to check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions in what you can bring onboard.
  • Check your seat and clean your area before sitting down for the flight. Cleaning up stray food particles can help you avoid an allergen coming into contact with your skin and causing a reaction.
  • Make sure your epinephrine auto-injector is with you on the plane at all times. It should not be placed in your checked luggage or put in the overhead bin. Read up on carrying medications onto a plane before your departure date.

Train Travel

  • If the train allows pets, request to be seated away from any animals onboard.
  • If there is a meal car, ask if the food staff can accommodate your allergy. If not, see if you can bring your own allergy-friendly food onto the train.

Overseas Travel

  • Keep an allergy card with you at all times. The card should list your allergy and what to do in case of an emergency. If you are traveling to a non-English speaking country, have your card translated into the local language.
  • Know the location of the nearest hospital. Research which hospitals are best suited to treat an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Research local cuisine to see if there are any regional dishes you should absolutely avoid while traveling.
  • If you will have access to a kitchen, you may want to bring non-perishable food that is safe for you to eat (for example, pasta).
  • Learn the words for your allergen in the local language. This will help you spot it on menus or on ingredient labels. 

Hotel Stays

  • Request a non-smoking, pet-free room. Make note of your allergy when making your reservations.
  • If you are not sure how to speak to a chef about your allergy, your hotel’s concierge may be able to call the restaurant on your behalf to explain your allergy to the chef.
  • If you are allergic to dust mites or if certain products like laundry detergent cause a reaction, consider bringing your own linens and pillow covers.

Going on vacation is a great way to take a break from your normal routine as well as de-stress. Traveling with allergies or asthma does have a unique set of challenges, but with the right amount of preparation, you can experience the same relaxing vacation as someone without allergies.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies while you travel, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Would you like to see these tips in our latest infographic?

 

Common Spring Allergy Triggers and How to Avoid Them

For many New Yorkers, spring just means warmer weather and beautiful flowers in bloom. However for the 19.1 million adults with hay fever, it also means sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose, and other irritating symptoms.

Every spring, trees and grasses release pollen grains into the air. These grains are light enough that they can travel in the wind. Flower pollen, on the other hand, is heavier and falls to the ground, and is therefore less likely to cause allergy symptoms. If flower pollen isn’t the cause of your symptoms, what is? Here are a few spring allergy triggers:

Tree Pollen: This includes pollen from tree varieties such as ash, beech, birch, cedar, cottonwood, elm, hickory, juniper, maple, mulberry, oak, pine, poplar, and willow, among others. Pollen can travel in the air for miles, so even if you don’t have trees in your neighborhood, their pollen can still affect you.

Grass Pollen: The grass pollens that can trigger the symptoms of spring allergies include Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, rye grass, and orchard grass, among others. Typically in NYC, grass pollens make their way into the environment towards the end of the spring, and become the more predominant pollen in the summer.

Are you prepared to deal with spring allergies this year? Here are a few tips from Hudson Allergy on avoiding exposure to allergens and managing your symptoms:

Know when allergy season starts. Spring allergy season can begin as early as February if the weather is warm enough. Don’t wait until the middle of April to begin thinking about how to treat your symptoms. Make an appointment with your allergist and start treating spring allergy symptoms before they start.

See what’s in the air. Download a pollen tracker app. This app will help you keep track of pollen levels in New York and let you see what times of day are best for outdoor activities.

Limit your time outdoors. Staying inside on days with high pollen counts can help you avoid your allergy triggers. Unfortunately, this may mean avoiding some of your daily activities or turning down a few invitations to backyard BBQs.

Be aware of cross-reactions. Cross-reactivity happens when proteins in one substance are similar to proteins in another. For example, if you are allergic to birch pollen, you may also have a reaction to apples. Such a reaction is known as oral allergy syndrome.

Make time for spring cleaning. Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your home can help you eliminate allergens from your living space. You’ll want to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to trap symptom-causing particles. In addition to cleaning, you can also make a few other changes to your home, such as keeping windows shut and using an air conditioner to keep cool.

Are you ready to deal with spring allergies? Our month-to-month guide helps you understand what might be triggering your symptoms during different times of the year. Don’t wait until symptoms are making you miserable to do something.

If you have any questions about managing your spring allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Excited For New Year’s Eve? If You Have Food Allergies, Proceed with Caution If You’re Aiming for an Unexpected Kiss

Living with allergies, particularly food allergies, can be complicated, but with some advanced preparation and tips, you can enjoy a cheerful New Year’s celebration and kick the new year off right.

Here are some of our tips for your New Year’s Eve party:

Be careful when you kiss.
Ringing in the new year with a kiss is perhaps the best known New Year’s Eve tradition. But did you know it could have some nasty consequences for someone with food allergies? Unfortunately, there have been recent stories of people with food allergies having serious anaphylactic reactions after kissing someone with trace amounts of an allergen on their lips. So, before you pucker up, make sure the person you’re going to kiss hasn’t eaten anything that could give you an allergic reaction, such as peanuts or tree nuts. It’s important to know your allergy and communicate with your partner.

Talk to your host beforehand.
The best line of defense for any person with allergies is to know what situation you’ll be walking into. If you’re not hosting the big New Year’s bash this year you’ll want to get in touch with your host ASAP. Talk with the host about your allergies and get the need-to-know details about the event location and the menu. If you contact your host with enough advanced notice they will likely be able to get some recommendations for allergy-friendly dishes and take extra precautions when preparing food. You can also offer to bring along your own allergy-safe food, snacks, or drinks to the party. For example, if you have a gluten intolerance you may want to bring your own gluten-free beer. (Here are some of our favorites.)

Also, if you have cat or dog allergies and the party will be taking place in the host’s home, you can ask about pets in advance and set a reminder on your phone to take an antihistamine before you head to the party.

Make an action plan.
Don’t wait until the big night to think about your allergies. Take some time during the days leading up to New Year’s Eve to put together an action plan to deal with the worst-case scenario. Make sure to bring along the essential items you might need during an emergency, such as an EpiPen or your inhaler. You should also educate at least one other guest at the party on how to administer your medication if you are unable to do so yourself and be sure they know to call 911 after administering emergency medication. Remember, it’s better to have a plan in place and not need it versus not having a plan and regretting it. 

Watch for the signs of an alcohol intolerance.
Most people enjoy a few drinks on New Year’s Eve. Have you ever experienced flushed skin, nasal congestion, or hives after consuming an alcoholic drink? Or, have you ever experienced sickness after just one or two drinks? If so, you might have an alcohol intolerance. Most allergic reactions to alcohol are due to other ingredients (such as preservatives, grains, or yeast), not the alcohol itself. The most common symptoms of an alcohol intolerance include hives, redness, headache, nausea, runny nose, nasal congestion, vomiting, and the worsening of a pre-existing asthma condition. If you think you might have an alcohol intolerance, make an appointment with an allergist and skip the booze on New Year’s Eve.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution?

A new year can mean a fresh start for managing your allergies and improving your overall health. It can be a wonderful time of year, but New Year’s Eve can also be stressful for those trying to manage allergies. These tips can help you start the year off right.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies in the new year, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Winter Allergy Triggers: Is It Allergies or the Common Cold?

The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and those with pollen allergies are breathing a sigh of relief.

Many seasonal allergy sufferers look forward to winter, as the decreased pollen production means relief from their allergy symptoms. For those sensitive to indoor allergens like mold, pet dander, and dust mites, however, the colder weather doesn’t bring the same sense of relief. In fact, the winter season may cause an uptick in symptoms for these patients as the cold weather often means more time spent indoors – and that leads to increased exposure to certain allergens.

Those experiencing a winter allergy often have symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Due to the weather and these particular symptoms some people may wonder:

Is it allergies, the flu, or a cold?

Many of the symptoms of a cold, seasonal allergies, and the flu virus are shared, which can make it confusing to tell the difference between the three. Better understanding the unique symptoms of each can be helpful for determining whether you should make an appointment with your primary physician or your allergist – or if you should pick up over-the-counter cold medication. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms:

  • Having a fever and body aches is most common with the flu. While you may experience a fever or body aches with a cold, you would never see these symptoms with allergies.
  • If your symptoms last longer than three weeks, the cause is likely allergies. A cold usually lasts up to 14 days and the flu may last from 1 to 3 weeks.
  • Sneezing is a more prominent symptom of allergies.
  • Itchy eyes are uncommon with a cold or the flu, but are often a symptom of allergies.

If the cause of your symptoms appears to be allergies, you’re probably on the lookout for tips on minimizing exposure to allergens. Here’s what we recommend:

Get tested for allergies. If you don’t already know what you are allergic to, it’s time to make an appointment for allergy testing. When you know the exact cause of your symptoms (whether it be dust, pet dander, or something more unusual), you can create a much more targeted approach to clearing allergens from your environment.

Check for mold. Mold grows in damp environments, such as your bathroom or basement. Check these areas for mold growth and remove any sources of standing water. You can kill the mold you find with a mixture of 1-quart water and 1/2 cup bleach.

Try a salt water spray. During the winter, your nose can dry up in the same way that your skin does due to the cold, dry air outside and the warm, dry air inside. This drying out can cause some people to be more prone to nosebleeds in the winter. To prevent this, use salt water sprays or nasal gels. You can also use Vaseline to line the inside of the nose and keep it moist.

Do a deep clean. The best way to remove allergens from your home is with a thorough cleaning. In addition to getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the air, you should also install filters on the vents in your home. You should also vacuum and dust your home at least once per week (be sure to clean carpets, rugs, and any upholstery that collects allergens). Use a damp cloth when dusting to trap allergens instead of sending them flying into the air around you and wash your bedding and linens in hot water to kill dust mites.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Don’t Be Scared: 6 Tips for Celebrating Halloween with Allergies

It’s that time of year again: Americans all over the country are settling into fall. For many, this means sipping on a pumpkin spice latte while Googling unique patterns to carve into pumpkins and deciding where to hang fake spider webs.

For American children it means picking out a costume and practicing telling neighbors to smell their feet and give them something good to eat. Unfortunately, the “give me something good to eat” part can present a problem for the 1 in every 13 children with food allergies.

You may be worrying about how to handle Halloween if your child has food allergies or sensitivities, but rest assured that there are ways to celebrate this wickedly fun holiday safely and without triggering an allergic reaction. Here are our six tips for celebrating Halloween with allergies:

Be careful with costume makeup.
Many costumes include an element of makeup, such as painting your child’s face a solid color or painting on fake scars or wounds. Remember to be cautious when using Halloween makeup, as it may cause an allergic reaction. Be sure you are using high-quality makeup and do a test of the makeup on a small patch of skin a few days before Halloween to see if a reaction is triggered.

Be prepared.
Before leaving the house on Halloween, do a quick check to make sure you are bringing along all essential items your child needs for their allergies or asthma, such as inhalers, medications, or an EpiPen. Also be sure that another responsible person has been educated on the use of your child’s EpiPen and knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Teach children how to read ingredient labels.
It’s critical that your child understands which foods and ingredients are off-limits to them before they go trick-or-treating or attend a party. Food labels are a key source of information for those with food allergies, particularly with regard to hidden allergens, so it’s important to teach your children how to properly read them and recognize hidden allergens. For safety, children should be taught that “may contain” on ingredient labels should be read as “likely contains.”

Find an alternative to trick-or-treating.
You may decide that it’s best to skip trick-or-treating altogether. If you make this decision, there are plenty of other non-food related activities that you can do with your child to stay in the spirit of Halloween, such as a scary movie marathon, visiting a haunted house, or carving pumpkins. If you do decide to go trick-or-treating…

Look for teal pumpkins.
The Food Allergy Research & Education organization hopes people “go teal” for Halloween. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes an allergy-friendly Halloween by encouraging people to offer non-food treats to trick-or-treaters, such as crayons, small toys, stickers, bubbles, and other items. Anyone participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project will be displaying either a teal pumpkin or a sign noting that they are participating. For the nearly 6 million children in the US with food allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a wonderful initiative that allows them to join in on the holiday fun.

Swap candy for other treats.
When you and your child return home from trick or treating, sit down and sort through the candy they have collected. You can read ingredient labels together and remove anything that could cause an allergic reaction. Depending on your child’s allergy there may not be much left that they are able to eat (or perhaps anything at all). Plan ahead for this possibility and buy allergy-safe treats in advance. On Halloween night you can swap the candy that your child has collected for the allergy-safe toys and treats.

It’s easy to see why nearly two-thirds of American children say that Halloween is their favorite holiday. Thankfully it is still possible for children with allergies to enjoy the holiday safely – it just requires a little preparation.

If you believe you have food allergies or have questions about resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. Or, if you are looking for an allergist, we’d love to meet you. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.

How to Manage Allergies While Away at College

Being accepted to college is an exciting achievement for many New Yorkers, and an important milestone for many Americans. Many students will be living on their own for the first time and must face the challenges that come along with such a change, including managing allergies without help from parents or family members.

Thankfully, today many schools are well educated on allergies (though some may offer more comprehensive allergy safety policies and procedures). Due to increased awareness and safety programs its possible to have an allergy-friendly and safe college experience almost anywhere.

Here are some tips for managing allergies on campus:

Ask yourself the tough questions.
How responsible are you really when it comes to managing your allergies on your own? Do you always remember to carry your EpiPen or emergency inhaler? Do you take your medications without needing someone to remind you? Are you confident enough to speak up to a dining hall employee about your food allergy? Do you feel comfortable educating your roommate and friends about your allergy and instructing them on how to administer your emergency medications? Can you make an appointment with a local allergist if necessary?

Get comfortable in the dining hall.
If you’ll be having the majority of your meals at the campus dining hall, don’t be shy when it comes to introducing yourself to foodservice employees and telling them about your allergy. You should also feel comfortable asking about ingredients or hidden allergens in prepared foods. Learn in advance what accommodations are available to students with food allergies and sensitivities. You should also learn to read ingredient labels and if you’re ever unsure about a dish, skip it.

Additionally, if you have access to a kitchen and have the ability to cook your own meals, take time to learn which supermarkets are in the area and create weekly allergy-friendly meal plans for yourself.

Understand your housing options.
Most college students live in dorms during the school year, but an apartment is also an option if you would feel more comfortable with more control over your living situation. If you have a roommate be sure to educate them about your allergy and ensure that they understand how serious your allergy can be. Teach them the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction and tell them what to do in case of a future emergency. You should also make sure that your resident advisor has this information as well.

Talk to the doctor.
Make an appointment to speak with the medical staff on campus. In addition to sharing information and medical records about your allergy you’ll want to find out what procedures and policies the school has in place for dealing with allergies and allergic reactions. Also get the address of the nearest hospital and put necessary phone numbers into your cell phone contacts.

College is a fun, exciting time for many students and you don’t need to miss out on the opportunity just because you have allergies. With the proper management, care, and communication you’ll be able to get the most out of your college experience.

If you suspect you have allergies or have questions about other resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Your Fall Allergy Survival Kit

Are you suffering through itchy eyes, a runny nose, redness, and other allergy symptoms? Or are you anticipating muddling through similar symptoms when fall allergy season begins? Don’t wait to seek relief until you’re halfway through a nasty allergy season. There are things you can start doing now to prepare yourself for the upcoming fall allergy season.

In the fall, ragweed is the number one trigger for allergy symptoms and usually begins to release pollen in August. Many people believe that spring is the only time you need to worry about pollen allergies, but ragweed season can last until October. If you’re one of the 23 million Americans with allergic rhinitis you may want to begin preparing now for fall allergy season.

With fall allergy season on the horizon it’s time to start preparing your fall allergy survival kit. Not sure about what items to include in your kit? No problem.

Hudson Allergy has put together a quick list to get you started. (Tip: You may want to create multiple kits and stash them in different places, such as a drawer at work, in the bathroom cabinet at home, in a purse or backpack, or in your glove compartment.)

Here’s what we suggest you keep on hand during the fall allergy season:

Allergy medications
With allergies, the body’s immune system overreacts to harmless substances such as pollen or dust and responds to them as if they are a threat. Allergy medications can be helpful in curbing this response. Make sure that both your maintenance medications as well as emergency use medications are included in your kit.

Cough drops
In addition to your allergy medications, you should include cough drops in your fall allergy survival kit, particularly if you experience a cough or sore, scratchy throat due to postnasal drip. Many cough drops begin working in as little as 10 seconds to begin soothing your symptoms. A strong menthol cough drop may also help to alleviate some of your nasal congestion caused by allergies.

Eye drops
Do you often suffer from red, itchy, or watery eyes? Eye drops can offer fast-acting (though temporary) relief if your allergy medications aren’t working fast enough for your liking. However, it’s important to remember not to use over-the-counter eye drops for longer than 2 to 3 days as overuse can actually make your symptoms worse.

Tissues
Sneezing up a storm? Make sure to include a to-go pack of tissues in your allergy survival kit!

Hydrocortisone cream
If your allergies tend to cause skin rashes, you’ll be glad you included this in your survival kit. Hydrocortisone helps to reduce redness, swelling, and itching caused by allergy symptoms, eczema, and other irritations.

Nasal spray
Nasal sprays can bring relief if your allergies have caused a stuffy, itchy, or runny nose. An over-the-counter nasal spray might be what you need, or you may need to make an appointment with an allergist for something prescription strength. Remember not to overuse decongestant nasal sprays due to the rebound effect. When the rebound effect occurs, you may need increasingly higher doses of medication to keep your symptoms under control or your symptoms can become worse if you stop using the spray. If this occurs you may need to stop using the nasal spray to reverse this effect.

In addition to your fall allergy survival kit, you may want to add at least one digital tool to your arsenal: a pollen tracker app for your phone, tablet, or computer. A pollen tracking app will let you know the expected pollen count for your city so that you can prepare ahead of time on particularly bad days. This will allow you to double up on tissues or make plans to stay inside that day.

When you’ve finished putting your allergy kit together, be sure to make an appointment with your allergist to go over your allergy management plan for the fall allergy season. Don’t wait until symptoms are making you miserable!

If you suspect you have allergies or have questions about other resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Seven Allergy Myths You Probably Believe – And Why You Shouldn’t

Mark Twain once said, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” While this is true of gossip, it’s also true of many of the common myths many people believe about allergies.

As many of our patients know, it’s bad enough to suffer through allergy symptoms without also having to sort through conflicting advice and ambiguous “best” practices. This is why it’s important to have your facts straight about your allergies.

To help our patients recognize allergy fact from fiction, we’ve rounded up some of the most commonly believed allergy myths along with the facts that disprove them. Here are the top seven allergy myths we most often see:

Myth: Allergies only cause symptoms during “allergy season.”

Truth: In actuality, many people experience allergy symptoms all year. With allergies, your immune system responds to harmless environmental elements (e.g. pollen, mold, dust) as if they were harmful substances. This response results in common allergy symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, itching, redness, runny nose, and nasal congestion. People that suffer from year-round allergies are usually responding to indoor allergens like pet dander, mold, dust mites, cockroaches, and other triggers that are present in the environment all year.

Myth: If you didn’t have allergies as a child, you won’t have them now.

Truth: Anyone can develop an allergy at any time. Some adults may even develop a food allergy to a food they had previously eaten without any problems. There is still a lot that the experts don’t know about allergies, but what we do know is that the number of people with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is growing around the world. Adult-onset allergies usually occur during your twenties, thirties, and forties rather than in later life.

Myth: Local honey can alleviate or cure seasonal allergies.

Truth: Eating local honey has no effect on your allergy symptoms. People mistakenly believe that the pollen in bee honey helps the body to build immunity to pollen, thereby ending seasonal allergies. In fact, the pollen in bee honey comes from flowers, not grasses, weeds, or trees. Why does this matter? Flower pollen is heavy and falls to the ground. You’re more likely to come into contact with windswept pollens, which are more likely to cause your allergy symptoms.

Myth: Moving to a new area can cure your seasonal allergies.

Truth: Some New Yorkers might be tempted to pack up and head west to get away from allergy season, but in reality moving will not help ease your symptoms. Pollen spreads over very large geographic areas. In fact, pollen from the ragweed plant (a flowering plant whose pollen causes up to 50% of all cases of pollen-related allergic rhinitis in North America) has been found hundreds of miles out at sea and even two miles into the atmosphere! People allergic to common grass pollens will likely find they have symptoms almost everywhere in the United States because these pollens are cross-reactive.

Myth: You should only take allergy medicine when you experience symptoms.

Truth: You don’t have to wait until you’re feeling terrible to start your allergy medication. The effects of an allergic response can last for weeks in some cases. Use your allergy medications on a consistent basis to control your allergy symptoms before they even start.

Myth: You are allergic to your pet’s fur.

Truth: Before you take drastic measures and shave off all of Fluffy’s fur, know this: it’s not the fur that’s causing your allergy symptoms. Rather, the allergen is a protein found in your pet’s skin, saliva, and urine. You can regularly bathe your pet to remove allergens from their fur and skin, but be careful not to dry the skin out.

Myth: Flowers trigger allergies.

Truth: As we mentioned, flower pollen is heavy and falls to the ground. Your allergy symptoms might be irritated or aggravated by the perfume given off by flowers, but when it comes to reactions, the more likely culprits are pollens from grasses, trees, and weeds.

Even patients that have been dealing with allergies for many years can still hold misconceptions about their symptoms. We hope this exercise in fact vs. fiction shed a little more light on the truth behind common allergy myths.

If you suspect you have allergies or have questions about other resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Our Fall Reading List for Allergy Sufferers

The Allergy Fighting Garden Fall Reading List

Now that fall is here and peak allergy season is upon us, it’s the perfect time to get away from all that pollen and cozy up indoors with a good read.

We know how tough it can be to find helpful books on allergies that aren’t packed with medical jargon or complicated tips, so we asked the experts, Dr. Julie Kuriakose and Dr. Tim Mainardi, and put together our list of top 5 books for allergy sufferers that are worth the read.

Check out our list below and let us know what’s on your reading list for fall.

1. The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping

Author Thomas Leo Orgen is a horticulturist, seasoned allergy researcher, and all around gardening expert. In this book he carefully explains how different types of plants tend to aggravate certain allergies. One of the most valuable assets in the book is his explanation of the OPALS scale, which rates all plants from 1 -10 based on their likelihood to cause an allergic reaction. This book is perfect for someone who suffers from seasonal allergies and wants a little more insight as to how your environment can effect your symptoms.

2. Cosmetics Unmasked: Your Family Guide to Safe Cosmetics and Allergy-Free Toiletries

If you suffer from cosmetic allergies or eczema, you might want to pick this book up. Written by a former chemistry researcher, this pick gives real insight into what ingredients, like synthetics and parabens, could be harmful to your skin and why. It also lists out specific ingredients to be wary of when shopping for new beauty products and how to spot them.

3. Allergic Girl: Adventures In Living Well With Food Allergies 

This book is great for anyone struggling with the daily problems that occur as a result of having food allergies. Author Sloan Miller has dealt with food allergies since she was a young child and is a great authority to dish out helpful strategies for things that food allergy sufferers might find difficult like: how to create healthy relationships with friends, family, and food, and how to create a safe environment wherever you are.

4. The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide

Gluten allergies have become more of a hot topic over the years and this book still remains one of our favorites for those newly diagnosed, or just looking to learn a little more information about this particular allergy. This book offers up author Elizabeth Hassleback’s interesting history with celiac disease while also managing to break down the medical side of this conversation into digestible tid-bits.

5. The Allergy-Free Pantry: Make Your Own Staples, Snacks, and More Without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts

This pick is part cook book, part instruction manual that is perfect for anyone with an allergy sufferer in their house. Author Colette Martin details delicious recipes with careful hints like what to add when for the best tasting, allergy friendly, muffins, butters, spreads, and more. The recipes focus on everyday basics that even the novice chef can take on to help expand your allergy free menu options and learn how to be healthier in your everyday choices.

If you or someone you know is suffering from allergies, stop bye our office to get tested. We can help you create a plan to manage your allergy symptoms and live a healthier, happier life.

We’re experts who care, on your schedule, around the corner. Just walk in.

http://www.hudsonallergy.com

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