Hay fever, allergies, allergic rhinitis… they’re all names for that pesky sneezing, itchy, runny nose that impacts at least 20 million adults each year. Some allergy sufferers only encounter symptoms during the spring or fall; the not-so-lucky ones can experience them year round. But while allergies may be all-too familiar to many Americans, they can also be much more than just a nuisance.
“I think that allergies can be trivialized, especially by the people that don’t have allergies,” Dr. Clifford Bassett, clinical assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY, tells Yahoo Life.
This can lead allergy sufferers to downplay their own symptoms. Dr. Miriam Anand, an advisor to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, tells Yahoo Life that allergy patients often try to just “push through,” even when they’re feeling miserable.