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Attack Those Allergies

Start the New Year off right and wise up about your allergies.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) recently launched a national education campaign called "Get Smart About Allergies."

The campaign encourages people with allergies to see an allergist or family doctor to get the best possible treatment so allergies don't interfere with their lives or lead to health consequences such as sinus and ear infections, asthma and sleep problems.

This public education effort comes after a ACAAI survey that found 94 percent of people with allergies believe their quality of life -- including work productivity, sleep, concentration and sex lives -- is harmed by their allergies.

The program includes a brochure that offers guidelines on how people can manage their allergies. It also explains why they should consult with a family doctor or allergy specialist.

The brochure explains the risks of not getting medical advice and also includes information about the potential dangers of over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications.

A Web site and public service announcement are also part of the campaign.

A national telephone survey by the ACAAI found that while many people with allergies said it affected their quality of life, only 50 percent considered allergies to be a serious medical condition. Nearly two-thirds of them said they didn't see an allergist or other doctor the last time they had allergy symptoms.

The survey also found that 41 percent of people with allergies said they incorrectly assessed their condition as a common cold. The survey respondents tried an average of at least five OTC allergy medications. Nearly half said the reason they tried more than one OTC allergy medication was because they were dissatisfied with the effectiveness of the OTC medications.

The ACAAI says that shows the importance of going to a family doctor or allergist for the best treatment.

More information

Here's where you can find the Get Smart About Allergies Web site.

Reference Source 101


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