It's that time of year again: allergy season. You may be desperate to find relief, but beware of treatments that won't help with these myths that have been busted by the experts.
Myth 1: Local honey helps you build immunity to pollen
You've probably heard that eating raw honey (honey that hasn't been heated or filtered) from local bee hives can help reduce or eliminate allergic reaction to the pollen in the air where you live. Though studies show honey has antibacterial properties and may be an effective cough suppressant, researchers have yet to prove it can treat seasonal allergies.
In fact, honey contains only a tiny amount of pollen—probably not enough to provide any immunotherapy benefits. Plus, bees don't pollinate the types of trees, grasses or weeds that cause seasonal allergies.
Myth 2: Over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays are addictive
This is a common myth that has some people worried about using over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays. However, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays are not addictive. You can stop using them at any time without experiencing any symptoms of drug addiction.
Even so, you should only use them for as long as their label recommends (typically three consecutive days). If you're still congested after that, see your doctor. He or she may prescribe a prescription nasal spray, which is more effective and also not addictive.
Myth 3: Acupuncture is an effective treatment for spring allergies
Though acupuncture can be an effective treatment for pain and other conditions like insomnia and nausea, there is no hard evidence to show it can treat seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis. However, since a few studies suggest acupuncture may be beneficial and the therapy has few side effects, it might still be worth discussing this form of complementary and alternative medicine with your doctor.
Myth 4: Moving will cure your symptoms
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, moving as a treatment for seasonal allergies is often not necessary and, in many cases, won't help at all.
Tree, grass and weed pollen is everywhere. You might move to escape the pollen in one city only to find you're also allergic to the types of pollen in your new city. A better solution is to visit your local allergist. He or she can help you discover exactly what's causing your symptoms and how to manage them successfully.
Check out this blog for 10 things you can do at home, to relieve sinus pain and pressure. Don't let allergy symptoms get you down! Schedule an appointment online today with one of our Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) experts.