Allergy Myths

1. “If I spend enough time around the stuff I’m allergic to, I’ll build up resistance.”

If this worked, I would put you in a pollen- or pet dander- filled chamber in my office rather than give you allergy shots! The problem is that desensitization to allergens only happens if certain cells are involved. When we inhale, ingest, or touch allergens, the cells in our immune system that are responsible for starting the whole process of developing tolerance to allergens are not present. In fact, inhaling, ingesting, and touching allergens only makes you worse in the moment and worse overall in the long-run too. There are lots of the cells necessary to kick-off the desensitization process in the fatty “subcutaneous” tissue, which is why injecting into this area is the most effective way to overcome your allergies.

2. “Eating juniper berries, the juice from the berries, or local honey is helpful in naturally treating and preventing allergies.”

See explanation above. In addition, bees, which make honey, are not attracted to ugly plants. They are drawn to pretty, colorful flowers. So the likelihood that a bee would have gathered enough pollen from a cedar tree or a ragweed plant to carry back to its hive and make honey containing it is all very far-fetched. The pretty plants can rely on the insects to spread their pollen. The reason we are allergic to ugly plants is that they are dependent on the wind for spreading their pollen, and the wind blows it all over us! This explains why we aren’t allergic to flowering plants, and why the idea that local honey is helpful in reducing allergies is inaccurate.

3. “Over the counter allergen drops are helpful.”

To contain enough allergen concentration to change your immune system, these drops wouldn’t be available without a prescription. The reason is that adequate allergen content is associated with the risk of anaphylaxis. When you dispense a medication that could cause anaphylaxis, you need to prescribe epinephrine along with it. So very little allergen content is safe, but ineffective. The placebo effect of any medication is 20%, which is pretty significant.

Let Juniper Allergy help

Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss your specific treatment needs. You can call (210) 888-1297 or email to discuss the next steps.
Author: Dr. Amanda Trott, MD
NPI number: 1568653756
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