Sneezing, Coughing & Itchy, Watery Eyes? Relief from Allergy Symptoms Begins When Patients Discuss Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment with Their Primary Care Physician
SAN ANTONIO, April 23, 2014 – According to a recent national survey, while two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans suffer from seasonal or perennial allergy symptoms, only half of these sufferers are addressing the issue with a medical professional, leaving millions across the country unnecessarily suffering from ongoing coughs, sneezes and itchy, watery eyes often causing people to avoid outdoor activities.
The national survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of United Allergy Services, illustrates a strong discrepancy between patients’ suffering from allergy symptoms and those that are diagnosed and treated by a physician. Furthermore, 45 percent of patients who do not see a doctor take over-the-counter (OTC) medications that mask symptoms instead of effectively reducing allergic reactions.
“Spring is a wonderful time, unless you suffer from untreated allergies. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are unaware that true allergy relief is accessible through their family doctor or primary care physician. Patients need to discuss symptoms during their next visit to the doctor and doctors need to encourage this conversation,” said Jill Bryson, MD, primary care physician at Benton Family Clinic, a Baptist Health affiliate in Benton, Ark. “Golfers, runners, soccer players, outdoor enthusiasts—don’t miss out this year. Allergies can often be easily addressed through immunotherapy that provides long-lasting relief instead of briefly masking symptoms.”
Allergen immunotherapy, known by most patients as allergy shots, is the only treatment proven to address the underlying issue. Immunotherapy shots are the only treatment that desensitizes the patient to all of the allergens that are triggering their symptoms through a series of customized single injections that can often be administered by the patient at home. This approach is in stark contrast to OTC and prescription drugs that only temporarily mask allergy symptoms while patients continue to suffer and can develop allergy-induced asthma.
“The fact that patients are not pursuing a treatment that provides long-lasting, sustainable allergy relief is a sign that the allergy care community needs to step up and further educate doctors and patients about the treatment options available,” said Nicolas Hollis, president and chief executive officer of United Allergy Services. “Patients deserve better. Logically and ethically, a treatment that effectively reduces symptoms and can be conveniently administered at home should be made widely available to patients as a first-line option.”
Earlier this year, United Allergy Services announced findings that allergy sufferers want treatment options that can eliminate, rather than mask, ongoing allergy symptoms. As more patients become aware of the treatment options available to them and more physicians recognize their role in allergy care, the entire healthcare system will benefit.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of United Allergy Services between November 12-14, 2013 among 2,047 adults aged 18 and older, of who 1,325 suffer from any seasonal or perennial allergy symptoms. Respondents for this online survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. As such, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact MSLGROUP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About United Allergy Services
United Allergy Services ® (UAS) brings effective and convenient allergy testing and immunotherapy to primary care physicians; pulmonologists; ENT physicians; pediatricians; internal medicine physicians; and healthcare systems that treat the vast majority of patients with seasonal and perennial allergies. UAS’ complete service line features in-office UAS Certified Clinical Allergy Specialist staffing and training; quality assurance and compliance; and supply and inventory management. By collaborating with physicians to safely administer allergy testing and shots, UAS has assisted the expansion of access to effective allergy care for thousands of patients that suffer from seasonal and perennial allergies.