Sneeze Patrol: How to Stifle Seasonal Allergies
The 3 Biggest Allergy MythsMyth: It's possible to outgrow any type of allergy.
It's more likely that a mild allergy will disappear than a severe one. Often what happens is that your symptoms subside and flare up throughout your life, but they usually don't go away for good, says James T. Li, MD, chairman of the allergy division at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.Myth: Frequently hanging out with your pets will make you less allergic to them.
Sorry to break the news, but the only way to become desensitized to pet dander, or to stinging insects, pollens, dust mites, and mold, is by going for allergy shots. These are given in controlled doses designed to increase your tolerance to the substances that provoke your symptoms, according to Dr. Li. Shots are usually given monthly for three to five years.Myth: If you don't have allergies by the time you're an adult, you never will.
Most allergies do show up for the first time in childhood, but you can develop a seasonal or food allergy at any age, says Dr. Li.
Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2006.
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