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News Releases
Five Surprising Allergy and Asthma Triggers that Spoil Summer Fun (May 10, 2012)
Health Risks Greater for Asthmatic Baby Boomers over Age 60 (May 1, 2012)
Free Asthma and Allergy Screenings Offered Nationwide (April 23, 2012)
Record Pollen Counts Cause Even More Misery (March 20, 2012)
What Four Factors Influence the Severity of Allergy Season? (March 8, 2012)
Are You Making Your Spring Allergies Worse? (March 1, 2012)
Almost Half of Asthma Sufferers Not Using Needed Controller Medications (Feb. 25, 2012)
ACAAI Recognizes Teva Respiratory for its Support of Important Respiratory Initiatives
Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease Linked to Childhood Second-Hand Smoke Exposure (December 19, 2011)
Six Tips to Ensure Allergies And Asthma Don't Ruin Holiday Cheer (December 2011)
Thanksgiving Holiday Stuffed with Allergy, Asthma Triggers (November, 2011)
Unplug Indoor Pollutants for a Breath of Fresh Air (November 6, 2011)
Love Your Pet Not Your Allergy? (November 6, 2011)
Wine May Please the Palate but Not the Immune System (November 5, 2011)
Research Examines Asthma Control and Anaphylaxis Guidelines to Improve Outcomes for Adults with Allergies and Asthma (November 5, 2011)
Research Highlights New Interventions, Recommendations for Controlling Allergies & Asthma in Children (November 5, 2011)
Allergy Shots Fast-Track Relief and Cut Costs (November 3, 2011)
Don't Let Allergies, Asthma Spoil Halloween Fun (October 1, 2011)
Mold Exposure During Infancy Increases Asthma Risk (August 2, 2011)
Study Up for Sneeze and Wheeze-Free School Year (August 1, 2011)
Global Warming Extends Ragweed Allergy Season (July 28, 2011)
Childhood Asthma Linked to Depression during Pregnancy (July 5, 2011)
Allergists Update Stinging Insect Guidelines (June 16, 2011)
Don't Let Allergies, Asthma Spoil a Summer Soiree (June 15, 2011)
Cure Summertime Allergies - It's Worth a Shot (June 5, 2011)
Athletes with Allergies, Asthma Can Play it Safe (June 1, 2011)
Flood Water Can Make Air In Homes Unhealthy (April 29, 2010)
Free Screenings Launch in May's National Asthma Awareness Month
Pregnancy anemia linked to childhood wheezing and asthma (March 10, 2011)
Spring allergy Sufferers: Be Wary of Treatment Myths, March 4, 2011
Most Americans Recognize Allergies are Serious, Don't Know Who Should Treat Condition
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Spring Allergy Sufferers: Be Wary of Treatment Myths

March 4, 2011 (Arlington Heights, Ill.) – Knowing fact from fiction can make the difference between misery and relief for millions of spring allergy sufferers. 

“People often sneeze and wheeze through spring if they use misinformation to manage their condition,” says allergist Dr. Myron Zitt, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “But no one should suffer from spring allergies. Knowing the facts, getting a proper diagnosis and the right treatment allows allergy patients to feel good all season long.”

The ACAAI – whose allergist members specialize in treating allergies and asthma – dispels several common spring allergy myths.

Myth: Over-the-counter (OTC, or nonprescription) oral antihistamines are just as effective as prescription medicines in controlling a stuffy nose.

Fact: OTC antihistamines can help control some allergy symptoms, but they have little effect on relieving a stuffy nose or the inflammation that often occurs with allergies. They also can cause drowsiness. Allergists can prescribe more effective anti-inflammatory medications as well as find the source of suffering, rather than just treat the symptoms.  

Myth: OTC decongestant nasal sprays are addictive.

Fact: OTC decongestant nasal sprays are not technically addictive. However, people who overuse them may think they are because they need more and more to get relief from the congestion. To combat this, OTC decongestant nasal sprays shouldn’t be used more than three days in a row. Also, an allergist can prescribe a nasal spray containing a steroid, which may be more effective and is not addictive.

Myth: Allergy shots require too much time and are more expensive than taking medicine to relieve symptoms.

Fact: Depending on how bothersome the allergies are, immunotherapy (allergy shots) may actually save money and improve quality of life. In fact, a recent study showed that immunotherapy reduced total health care costs in children with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) by one-third, and prescription costs by 16 percent. The shots are similar to a vaccine, exposing the recipient to a tiny bit of allergen at a time, to build up a tolerance to it. As tolerance increases, allergy symptoms will be significantly lessened and may even go away. That can save sick days and money spent at the drugstore.

Myth: A blood test is the best way to diagnose allergies.

Fact: Actually, skin tests are more sensitive than blood tests. In skin allergy testing , the skin on the inside of the arms or the back is pricked with a tiny bit of an allergen. If the person is allergic, the site will become red and swollen within 20 minutes and usually clear in an hour or two. Skin testing is very safe when performed by an allergist, even in infants and young children. But no single test alone provides the entire picture. Sufferers should see an allergist, who is trained in diagnosing and treating allergies.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

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 Contact: Sara Conley, 312-558-1770, media@acaai.org

 

 
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