NEW YORK (WABC) — This is the worst allergy season in 10 years. That means those 93 million sufferers across the country are putting up with lots of itchy eyes, runny noses and wheezing lungs.
Residential broker Michelle Jason says her allergies got in the way. That is until she started getting regular shots at Dr. Clifford Bassett’s Kips Bay office.
“I didn’t realize that over the summer and the winter when I wasn’t feeling well was still allergy related,” Jason said.
“Sometimes we put the blame in the wrong place. Here’s a myth. If you use one brand of allergy medication, you build up a tolerance and it will stop working,” Dr. Bassett said.
“The good news is you cannot build up a tolerance to allergy medications particularly antihistamines,” said Dr. Bassett. “They work on day one, day 50, or day 100.”
Myth number two, is that you should only take medication when you have symptoms.
“We know that medications work in lower doses early on in the season before the symptoms really take hold. Early treatment is excellent treatment,” Dr. Bassett said.
Myth number three is that allergy shots only work in children.
In fact, experts say immunotherapy has nothing to do with age.
Four, flowers are a leading allergy irritant.
“Just because something looks good and smells nice doesn’t mean it will cause an allergy. Get a list of good allergy plants and ones that are not so great for allergy sufferers,” Dr. Bassett said.
Myth five is that if you eat local honey you won’t get seasonal allergies.
“It sounds nice it sounds holistic,” said Dr. Bassett, “It’s not something I would count on for allergy relief this season. Occasionally, there are people who have a reaction to the honey.”
Six, if you didn’t have allergies as a child, you’re in the clear as an adult.
“We see people in their 50s 60s and 70s and beyond who have allergies for the very first time because we’re seeing a pollen explosion because climate change and pollen production,” Dr. Bassett said.
Last but not least, short-haired pets won’t irritate allergies.
“We get this all the time. My mother-in-law’s dog or cat is bothersome but mine is not. The bottom line is there are differences in the proteins in the salvations glands and the skin of the animal that comes out in the fur or saliva. In some cases there may be difference. It’s really not clear,” Dr. Bassett said.
One thing is clear, you can take easy steps now to help.
“Wear a hat, wear sunglasses on a windy day, wash your hair at night you’ll wash away the pollen that accumulates during the day. Those are three simple things that actually work and do the trick,” Dr. Bassett said.