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New Fall Allergy Capitals(TM) Reveal the Most Challenging Cities for Allergy Sufferers

October 2, 2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ — The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) announced today the 2009 Fall Allergy Capitals(TM) rankings. The annual research project ranks the fall’s 100 most challenging cities for people with fall allergies. The top five cities this year are: McAllen, TX (1); Wichita, KS (2); Louisville, KY (3); Oklahoma City, OK (4); and Jackson, MS (5).(1) In addition, according to a recent AAFA survey, fall is also one of the most troublesome times of year for people with eye allergies. In the survey, nearly a third (29%) of respondents said that they experience eye allergy symptoms in Autumn. A full report of the fall rankings and a summary of the eye allergy survey findings are available for free at www.AllergyCapitals.com.

Many Americans may not be aware of fall allergies, but spring is not the only time you can have a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and/or congestion from upper respiratory allergies.(2A)In fact, the fall brings new allergy triggers that are not prevalent in the spring, such as ragweed.(2B) The Fall Allergy Capitals research also shows that overall pollen concentrations have increased in the top allergy cities.(1) Outdoor allergy triggers can make fall a very difficult time for the more than 35 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies.(2C)

No matter where a city ranks on the list of Fall Allergy Capitals, it’s important for people to know if their hometown is included. “Whether a city is ranked number 100 on the Allergy Capitals list or number 1, it’s essential for allergy sufferers to take the appropriate steps to manage their allergies,” says Mike Tringale, Director of External Affairs at AAFA. “Allergy sufferers should know what allergens trigger their symptoms and how to manage them.”(3)

Eye allergy symptoms can range from red irritation to constant itching. Allergy sufferers who wear contact lenses that you use for longer periods of time, may experience discomfort and symptoms such as ocular itching, tearing, and redness because allergens and other irritants can build up on contact lenses over time. Studies show that single-use contacts – daily disposable lenses that you throw away at the end of the day, can be a more comfortable option for many people with eye allergies than lenses replaced every two weeks or more.

During the fall when outdoor allergy triggers peak,(2D) people may continue to suffer from indoor allergies caused by common allergy triggers like pet dander and dust mites.(3A) In addition, ragweed and pollen can travel indoors through open windows and doors.(2E) Indoor and outdoor allergy triggers can be a significant challenge for people year round.(3B)

To help allergy sufferers better understand and manage the condition this fall, AAFA is offering a free educational brochure titled “Eye Health and Allergies.” The brochure, supported by 1 DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® Brand Contact Lenses, includes vital allergy season advice for the nation’s 40 million contact lens wearers. The brochure, which also includes a Free*** Trial Pair Certificate for the contact lenses, can be downloaded at www.AllergyCapitals.com. By visiting the Web site, people can learn if their city is an Allergy Capital and get information about allergy symptoms, how to avoid triggers, and how to best treat their symptoms.

About The Allergy Capitals(TM)

The Allergy Capitals is an annual research project of AAFA to identify “the 100 most challenging places to live with allergies” in the spring and fall seasons. The rankings are based on scientific analysis of three factors for 100 metro areas. The data measured and compared each year includes: (1)

  • Pollen scores (airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores)*
  • Number of allergy medications used per patient
  • Number of allergy specialists per patient

This year’s report indicates that more than fifty percent of the United States’ population lives in one of the 100 Fall Allergy Capital cities. However, McAllen, TX is ranked number one this year due to a higher-than-average pollen score, higher use of allergy medications per person, and lower-than-average access to allergy specialists, compared to other cities on the list.(1)

About Allergies

More than 36 million Americans suffer from indoor and outdoor allergic rhinitis, also known as upper respiratory allergies.(2C) Allergies are caused when a person’s immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances.(3B) These substances are often referred to as triggers.(3C) People can encounter indoor and outdoor allergy triggers anytime throughout the year that can lead to allergy symptoms. (3C) Indoor allergies can occur year-round and are triggered by substances such as mold, dust mites, and pet dander.(3D) These allergens are often inhaled through the nose and mouth, putting the allergens in contact with the immune cells in the lining of the nose, mouth, throat, and airways of the lungs causing an allergic response. (3D) Similarly, outdoor allergies can occur when outdoor allergens such as pollen from grasses, weeds and trees are inhaled through the nose and mouth into the lungs causing an allergic response.(3E) Those who suffer from outdoor allergies are often affected by allergies in the spring and fall.(3F) Symptoms for both indoor and outdoor allergies can include itchy, watery eyes, itchy nose or throat,(2F) sneezing(2G) and runny nose.(2F)

About The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1953, is the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies, and the oldest and largest asthma and allergy patient group in the world. AAFA provides practical information, community based services and support through a national network of chapters and support groups. AAFA develops health education, organizes state and national advocacy efforts and funds research to find better treatment and cures. Visit www.aafa.org to learn more.

About ACUVUE®

Important Information for Contact Lens Wearers: ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses are available by prescription only for vision correction. An eye care professional will determine whether contact lenses are right for you. Although rare, serious eye problems can develop while wearing contact lenses. To help avoid these problems, follow the wear and replacement schedule and the lens care instructions provided by your eye doctor. Do not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection, or experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, redness or other eye problems. If one of these conditions occurs, contact your eye doctor immediately. For more information on proper wear, care and safety, talk to your eye care professional and ask for a Patient Instruction Guide, call 1-800-843-2020 or visit www.Acuvue.com.

ACUVUE® ,and 1 DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® are trademarks of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

*AAFA is solely responsible for the identification and ranking of the Fall Allergy Capitals list

**”Pollen score” is comprised of compressive recorded levels of airborne grass/tree/weed pollen and mold spores, and prevalence data for each of these specific types of allergens.

***Professional exam and fitting fees not included. Valid only while supplies last.

References

1. Fall Allergy Capitals 2008. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. 2008 www.allergycapitals.com

2. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology http://www.aaaai.org

a) http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/whatisallergytesting.stm. Who should be tested for allergies? Bullet 1, Lines 1-3.

b) http://www.aaaai.org/patients/topicofthemonth/0808/august_ragweed.pdf. Ragweed Tumbles In. Avoid Exposure. Paragraph 1.

c) http://www.aaaai.org/fallallergy/2007. Fall Allergy Guide. Page 1. Paragraph 1, Lines 1-2.

d) http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/outdoorallergens.stm. Paragraph 1. Lines 4-12.

e) http://www.aaaai.org/patients/topicofthemonth/0808/august_ragweed.pdf. Ragweed Tumbles In. Avoid Exposure. Bullet 1.

f) http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/whatisallergytesting.stm. Who should be tested for allergies? Bullet 1.

g) http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/whatisallergytesting.stm. Which allergens will I be tested for? Paragraph 1. Lines 1-3.

3. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: www.aafa.org

a) http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=24&cont=344. Indoor Air Quality and Allergies. Paragraph 1. Lines 1-3.

b) http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=30. Allergy Facts and Figures. Overview. Paragraph 1. Lines 1-2.

c) http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=30. Allergy Facts and Figures: Prevalence. Bullet 3. Lines 1-7.

d) http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=18. Indoor. Paragraph 1, Lines 1-5.

e) http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=19&cont=217. Outdoor. Paragraph 1, Lines 1-4.

f) http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=19&cont=268. Allergy Facts and Figures: What Causes Rhinitis. Paragraph 3. Lines 4-6.

SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)


Source: newswire



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