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Myths about Allergies

Common myths about allergies

The last thing you need when you or your family are tackling an allergy, is bad information. So here we help set a few records straight.

▼ Hayfever is caused by hay
▼ Allergies are uncommon
▼ Allergy symptoms are harmless
▼ Pet hair causes allergies
▼ Flowering plants cause hayfever
 

Hayfever  is caused by hay”

No. In fact hayfever isn’t a fever at all, and isn’t necessarily caused by hay. The condition was named by a British doctor back in 1882 when he noticed that his symptoms worsened during the hay harvesting season.

But nowadays, the term is widely used to describe the blocked or runny noses, sneezing and irritable eyes associated with plants that pollinate or moulds that produce spores, usually in the late spring, summer or autumn. It is also the name given to allergies caused by indoors substances like dust mites and pet dander (loose skin flakes).

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“Allergies are uncommon”

No. Around 1 in 5 Australians will experience allergies at some point during their lives.1

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“Allergy symptoms are harmless”

No. Even the mildest allergy symptoms can be irritating, and may cause disturbed sleep and fatigue that impacts work and social situations.

At one end of the scale you have annoying skin reactions and a runny nose.

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“Pet hair causes allergies”

Not exactly. We love our dogs and cats but it’s true, they can cause allergies, though hair isn’t the main reason.

It’s the protein secreted in their skin and saliva that creates the problem. That’s why cats are thought to cause more allergies than dogs, because they spread the proteins to their coats through grooming.

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“Flowering plants cause Hayfever”

Not necessarily. Seasonal hayfever is normally caused by airborne grass, weed and tree pollen whereas, the pollen of flowering plants is large and sticky so tends not to blow very far.

So if flowering plants make you sneeze, the irritation is probably due to their perfume, not their pollen.

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Allergies and Allergens

What are they and what causes them? Here's where you'll find out...

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Allergy Symptoms

Cold or seasonal allergy? Our guide will help clear the air.

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Treatment

Here's how to tackle both the causes and the symptoms of allergies.

Click here to find out more