A new online survey by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Merck finds that many Americans with seasonal allergies think most about managing their seasonal allergies only when they experience symptoms or at the start of allergy season. In response to insights from the survey, AAFA has teamed with Merck to launch Allergy PREP, an online resource to help patients with seasonal allergies prepare in advance of their allergy season.
The survey - which included 1,083 adults (ages 18-65) who have been diagnosed with seasonal allergies and 534 parents of children (ages 5-17) with seasonal allergies - found that, among respondents:
- Close to two-in-three adults with seasonal allergies felt confident that they had an idea about the season in which their allergies would be the most severe, but over three-in-four reported that they thought most about managing their seasonal allergies only when they experienced symptoms or at the start of allergy season.
- 38 percent of adults with seasonal allergies felt that their symptoms were becoming more severe.
- Almost three out of four (74%) allergy sufferers had an idea what over-the-counter treatment options were available, but many didn't know what prescriptions were available (55%), what their allergy triggers were (37%), or how to help their allergy symptoms (36%).
- Only 47% of adults surveyed visited a doctor for advice or got a prescription for an allergy treatment from a doctor before allergy season.
- A large majority of parents of children with seasonal allergies (nearly nine-in-ten parents) worried about a severe allergy season more than their child's report card.
Allergy PREP (Prepare, REview, Plan), encourages people with seasonal allergies to plan ahead and to:
- Prepare by educating themselves about the cause of seasonal allergy symptoms
- Review their seasonal allergy strategy
- Plan an appointment with a doctor
"As an allergist, I encourage my patients to prepare for their seasonal allergy symptoms well in advance of their allergy season. Seasonal allergies are something you should think about year-round, not just when symptoms hit," says Dr. Clifford Bassett, a Board-certified allergist in NY and member of AAFA's Medical-Scientific Council. "The Allergy PREP site can provide valuable information in addition to working with your doctor to help develop strategies or a course of action before your allergy season begins."
To learn more about how you can prepare in advance of your allergy season, visit allergyprep.aafa.org. The Allergy PREP site was developed in collaboration between AAFA and Merck & Co., Inc.