Whether you merely get a little stuffed up during the spring, or helplessly wheeze as your throat closes up when you so much as look at a peanut butter sandwich, allergies affect a lot of us. And since allergies tend to make no sense — if a peanut can kill you, should you really be alive? — it’s easy to believe whatever you’re told by commercials, friends, and your Nana.
And so many of the things people believe about allergies turn out to be bogus. So we’ve rounded up six of the most common tall tales and provided the actual truth.
MYTH #1: Allergies aren’t real
The mind plays a role in immune response, which is why someone who’s allergic to shellfish might feel hives coming on if SpongeBob is on TV. But allergies aren’t the result of an overactive imagination; wheezing, coughing, or itching is your immune system telling you that something has angered it, and you better figure out what it is and fix it.
MYTH #2: Flowers trigger allergies
If you quit your job so that you could stay home and rub daffodils in your face all day, it’s possible you’d develop a flower allergy from the prolonged exposure. Otherwise, pollen produced by grass, trees, and weeds is probably responsible for jacking up your sinuses.