Breaking down the facts and fiction around allergy myths

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Allergy sufferers, listen up!

The pollen count in Charlotte lately has been sky high and if you're finding it hard to get some relief, you may want to rethink how your treating your symptoms.

Did you know that some of the preventative measures you could be taking to prevent allergy attacks may not be doing the trick? Some allergy myths may actually could lead to a lot of discomfort.

For example, some allergy sufferers avoid the outdoors during the spring and fall seasons to lessen their contact with allergens.

According to Allergist Dr. Alekh Gupta this can be helpful, but allergy sufferers should try to figure out what exactly they're allergic too.

"The allergy season is very individualized. If you're a person that's allergic to trees, spring might be your allergy season," Dr. Gupta said.

But for those who are allergic to cats or dog and have one living in their home, they may have symptoms all year-round and staying inside isn't going to help much.

If you're allergic to dogs or cats and you have a hypoallergenic pet, or an animal with short hair, you may still experience some symptoms.

Dr. Gupta said hypoallergenic doesn't mean allergen free.

"The reality is that the parts of the pets that we're allergic to are found in their saliva and their skin," he said. "And a lot of the hypoallergenic pets are marketed as low shedding or no shedding but that actually doesn't make a difference. So what happens is that whether your pet has no hair at all, you're still going to be exposed to those allergens that you're sensitive to."

If you're looking for some immediate allergy relief, whether it be from your pet or pollen, and you want something strong, you do not have to rush to the doctor right away.

Dr. Gupta suggests going to your local drug store and trying an over the counter medication, which he claims can be just as effective as prescription drugs. But beware of using nasal sprays for long periods of time, according to Dr. Gupta.

"They're altering the mechanics of the nose and in doing so they're treating it but if you were to stop them then you're going to get rebound symptoms and you might have even worse congestion if you ever go off of it," Dr. Gupta said.

Dr. Gupta also said keep in mind that if your allergy symptoms are severe and persistent, you should go see a doctor.

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