Spring Allergies Start Strong and Last Long As Extreme Weather Patterns Continue

Spring Allergy Capitals Report Ranks Most Challenging Cities

LANDOVER, Md., April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Extreme weather patterns may contribute to a severe and long allergy season this spring, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The 2013 Spring Allergy Capitals™ report released today by AAFA – the 11th year of the report – ranks the most challenging cities to live with allergies in the United States. This new list shows the increased potential for severe and prolonged allergy symptoms as spring arrives early, and as many regions of the country recover from severe storms and flooding. For specific allergy risks in 100 U.S. cities and tips on managing allergy symptoms, visit www.AllergyCapitals.com. The report is an independent research project of AAFA sponsored by DYMISTA™ (azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate), the first and only seasonal allergy spray to block histamine and treat inflammation for effective relief of seasonal allergy symptoms.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130402/DC86402)

"Severe weather patterns can bring higher temperatures, higher pollen levels and increased exposure to outdoor mold, resulting in spring allergies that can peak stronger and last longer," said Bill Berger, MD, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California. "Too often, people with seasonal allergies suffer silently while their symptoms worsen year after year. Allergy sufferers need to learn more about allergies and visit an allergy specialist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Often more can be done to relieve allergy symptoms that interfere with daily life."

Residents across the United States can expect more severe allergy conditions this year as an unusually wet winter and early warm temperatures lead to earlier tree pollination and higher levels of pollen and outdoor mold. Northern cities predicted to face a more challenging spring allergy season compared to one year ago include: Buffalo, NY (rising 10 spots to #15 out of 100 cities), Springfield, MA (rising from #74 to #18), Richmond, VA (rising from #46 to #22), Detroit, MI (rising from #50 to #26) and Toledo, OH (rising from #57 to #29).

"The severe allergy conditions expected in many cities across the country means more challenges for patients, and a need for powerful and effective treatment options for them to help manage their condition," said Mike Tringale, Vice-President of External Affairs at AAFA.

There is no cure for allergies. Nearly half of seasonal allergy patients are unhappy with how slowly their prescription medicines work and many patients still experience breakthrough of severe symptoms despite using a seasonal allergy medication.(1) Patients with seasonal allergies want a safe, easy-to-use medicine that completely controls their symptoms, especially if those symptoms are severe. The best way for people to manage seasonal allergies is to avoid allergy triggers like pollen and outdoor mold, get properly diagnosed, and use fast-acting, more effective medications to prevent and treat symptoms. DYMISTA™ is the first and only medicine that both reduces inflammation while also blocking histamine, one of the underlying causes of seasonal allergy symptoms.

This year's ranking shows that nasal allergies are a problem nationwide, especially in southern states. Overall, 15 of the top 25 cities on this year's ranking are in the South. These findings are consistent with research showing that spring now arrives 10 to 14 days earlier than it did just 20 years ago, bringing with it increased pollen counts.(2,3)   

Recent hurricanes, severe storms and tornadoes can also affect the severity of spring allergies. The increased presence of mold in areas damaged by floods can trigger allergic reactions. Major urban areas and locations with significant construction may also see an increased risk for severe allergies, because pollen from weeds proliferates in places with development projects. Finally, ground-level ozone pollution can affect allergy symptoms.

For 2013, Jackson, MS, claimed the top spot on AAFA's Spring Allergy Capitals ranking, followed by Knoxville, TN (#2) and Chattanooga, TN (#3). Of note, three major cities, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Dallas each climbed slightly higher in the top 25 compared with last year. "AAFA encourages the 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies to learn more, consult an allergy specialist, and insist on adequate symptom relief," said Tringale. An interactive map of 100 cities, resources about diagnosis, prevention and treatment options, resources for physicians, and more information on the study methodology are available at www.AllergyCapitals.com.

About the Research
The Spring Allergy Capitals™ ranking is an annual research and educational project of AAFA, designed to help patients recognize, prevent and safely treat allergy symptoms. Through this ranking, AAFA raises awareness of allergies and provides helpful information designed to improve the quality of life for people with allergies. AAFA and DYMISTA™ are working together this year to promote the findings of the report, educate the public about this chronic disease, and encourage people to get diagnosed and properly treated.

The Allergy Capitals™ are identified and ranked based on pollen levels, use of over-the-counter and prescription allergy medication and number of Board Certified allergists.

About AAFA
Now in its 60th year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading nonprofit consumer and patient organization dedicated to fighting asthma and allergic diseases.  AAFA provides free information to the public, offers educational programs to consumers and health professionals, leads advocacy efforts to improve patient care, and funds research to find a cure. For more information, visit www.aafa.org.

About Dymista™
Dymista Nasal Spray is indicated for the relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients 12 years of age and older who require treatment with both azelastine hydrochloride and fluticasone propionate for symptomatic relief.

IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION

  • Dymista Nasal Spray can cause drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything that you need to be alert for until you know how Dymista Nasal Spray affects you
  • Do not drink alcohol or take any other medicines that can cause you to feel sleepy while using Dymista Nasal Spray. This can increase your chances of having serious side effects
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or any side effects that do not go away
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; it is not known if Dymista Nasal Spray will harm your unborn baby
  • The most common side effects with Dymista are changes in taste, nosebleeds, and headache
  • Dymista Nasal Spray may also cause the following side effects:
    • Nasal problems. Symptoms of nasal problems include crusting in the nose, nosebleeds, runny nose, or a hole in the cartilage between your nostrils (nasal septal perforation). A whistling sound when you breathe may be a symptom of nasal septal perforation
    • Slow wound healing. If you have a sore in your nose, if you have had surgery on your nose, or if your nose has been injured, you should not use Dymista Nasal Spray until your nose has healed
    • Thrush (Candida), a fungal infection in your nose, mouth, or throat. Tell your doctor if you have any redness or white-colored patches in your nose, mouth, or throat
    • Eye problems. Some people may experience eye problems, including glaucoma or cataracts. You should have regular eye exams when using Dymista Nasal Spray
    • Immune system problems. Dymista Nasal Spray may cause problems with the way your immune system protects your body against infection.
    • Use caution when taking Dymista if you have an existing infection (eg, fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic). When using Dymista Nasal Spray, avoid contact with people who have contagious diseases such as chicken pox or measles. Symptoms of infection may include fever, aches and pains, chills, or feeling tired
    • Adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not make enough steroid hormones. Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency may include tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, or low blood pressure
    • Slowed or delayed growth in children. A child's growth should be checked regularly when using Dymista Nasal Spray
    • These are not all of the possible side effects of Dymista Nasal Spray. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

References
(1). Harris interactive survey of U.S. adult allergy patients. Commissioned by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, October 10-17, 2005.

(2). Staudt A, et al. (2010). Extreme allergies and global warming. Retrieved from http://aafa.org/pdfs/NWF_Allergies%20FINAL%20REPORT.pdf

(3). Ziska L, et al. Recent warming by latitude associated with increased length of ragweed pollen season in central North America. Pro. Natl Acad Sci 2011; doi:10.1073/pnas.1014107108

SOURCE Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America



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