Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Healthy Habits: Myths and Facts Around Allergies

I had a chance to post information from a renowned allergist Dr. Neeta Ogden, who writes about some of the myths and facts around allergies and the treatments available to help our quality of life!

Dr. Ogden has made it her mission to help educate allergy sufferers about ways to prevent and manage their symptoms, so they don’t interfere with their quality of life.  According to a new survey*, big misconceptions exist about allergies that might be standing between sufferers and much-needed relief. Dr. Ogden can talk about these myths, provide the facts and share what she feels are the best options for allergy sufferers. 

What are the most common misconceptions that you hear about allergies?
The following are some of the most common misconceptions that I hear about allergies, along with the real facts about each of them. 

o  Allergy symptoms are something inevitable that you can’t control: The fact is, there are many ways allergy sufferers can take back control. For example, they can make small changes to their daily routines like washing their hair at night and not sleeping near their pets.  

o  Allergies are only an issue during the day: That’s another misconception: Allergies can also result in restless and sleepless nights, leaving people tired and unable to function properly the next day. It’s kind of like trying to sleep while your alarm is going off, you’re being tickled with a feather duster, and your cat is curled up to your head – okay maybe not exactly like that, but allergies really can disrupt your sleep and your partner’s sleep, even if you don’t realize it.

o  All allergy pills make you sleepy/groggy: While it’s true that some first-generation antihistamines can make you sleepy, second-generation antihistamines that have been on the market for years offer non-drowsy relief.

o  Nasal allergy sprays are difficult to use: The truth is that nasal sprays are ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your nose and work easily with a simple press down on the nozzle.

o  All over-the-counter allergy medicines are the same: In reality, different medicines have different formulas and active ingredients, which means they may treat different symptoms and provide different kinds of relief.

o  The majority of allergy sufferers (64%) believe that if you use one brand of allergy medication for a period of time, you can build up a tolerance and it will stop working. Many allergy sufferers (58%) have also changed their allergy medication because of this perception. However, physiologically, it just isn’t possible. What’s more likely happening is that their allergy symptoms are getting more severe. The reality is that allergy season tends to get worse each year, so it’s more important than ever for allergy sufferers to manage their symptoms. 

How do allergies impact people’s quality of life?
Many allergy sufferers have gotten so used to their symptoms that they don’t even realize how significantly they may be impacting their lives. The truth is that allergy symptoms can impact everything from their work to their family time to how well they sleep at night. 

How do I know which allergy medication is right for me?
Not one allergy solution will work for everyone. It’s important for allergy sufferers to look for an allergy medication that relieves the specific symptoms that they experience. Different medicines have different formulas and active ingredients, which means they may treat different symptoms and provide different kinds of relief. It is important to learn about your options and find an allergy medication that works for you. 

What allergy medications do you recommend to your patients?
For my patients suffering from seasonal or year-round allergy symptoms, I often recommend treatment options that are available over-the-counter (OTC) at full prescription strength, such as Allegra, Xyzal and Nasacort.

Why are you partnering with Sanofi on this campaign?
I’m partnering with Sanofi on this campaign because I often hear allergy misconceptions first-hand from my patients and am passionate about clearing them up by providing the real facts. I also hear many patients say they do the same thing every year when it comes to managing their symptoms, even if they don’t think it’s working well enough. I think it’s important for allergy sufferers to break this cycle by learning more about this condition and being prepared to manage it as early on as possible by finding a treatment that works for them.   

Where can people go to learn more about allergy management?
For more information, visit

DR. NEETA OGDEN, Adult & Pediatric Allergist, Asthma Specialist and Immunologist: Dr. Neeta Ogden is an adult and pediatric allergist, asthma specialist and immunologist in private practice in New Jersey. She is a graduate of Yale University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is also a member of the Medical-Scientific Council of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and a Fellow of and spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). Dr. Ogden has published research in various academic journals and presented at several national allergy meetings. She has also contributed to public education on allergies by sharing her expertise with a number of media outlets including The Today Show, CBS The Morning Show, CNN, and NPR to name a few. Overall, her mission is to help educate allergy sufferers about ways to prevent and manage their symptoms, so they don’t interfere with their quality of life.

*This online survey of 1,000 U.S. allergy sufferers ages 18 and over was sponsored by Sanofi and fielded from January 28, 2018 to February 7, 2018 by Toluna. Allergy sufferers are defined as those who suffer from indoor or outdoor, seasonal or year-round allergies. In order to have qualified for this survey, respondents must have suffered from allergies in the past 12 months and must have done something to prevent or manage their allergy symptoms.

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