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Taking Aim at Allergies

 Spring hasn't quite sprung but forecasters predict a higher pollen count this year meaning more misery for those who suffer from allergies. Dr. Emily Senay joins The Early Show on Tuesday for more on what to expect this season and how to fight it.


One in five Americans suffer from some form of allergy. But according to Dr. Gary Rachelefsky, the head of the allergy research foundation, millions of people may be suffering needlessly.


"My belief is that allergies are not being managed properly in the United States," says Rachelefsky. "Because of that people are suffering, people are suffering by missing school, by missing work, by not performing like they should, and its affecting productivity. and people don't feel good."


To help doctors properly diagnose allergies, "The Allergy Report" from the American Academy of Asthma and Immunology is being released today. It's a guide to recognizing and treating common allergies.


The report recommends patients ask themselves:


  1. How long they've had the symptoms


  2. Do they miss school or work because of the condition


  3. Do allergies run in the family


  4. How often do they medicate


Answering those questions will help your doctor determine whether you have allergies and how severe they are. Then you can choose a treatment and typically the best approach is prescription medication or in more severe cases, shots.


Symptoms


  • trouble breathing or shortness of breath


  • sore throat


  • itchy eyes/nose


  • watery eyes


  • runny nose


  • frequent skin rashes


Misdiagnosis


Headaches, earaches and coughs can often be caused by allergies and instead of addressing the underlying problem, which is the allergy. The individual symptom is treated and that doesn't really address the problem. Also many people don't do anything about their symptoms because they don't think anything can be done and or don't realize that they are suffering from an allergy. Also many people try to treat their symptoms with over the counter medications which can be sedating or even make the problem worse.


For more information, read the allergy report, at theallergyreport.org.
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