FT. WASHINGTON, Pa., March 5 With the first day of springonly 15 days away, actress and entertainer Molly Shannon is teaming with theAsthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to launch the Allergies Are NoLaughing Matter educational campaign. Molly and AAFA, with support from themakers of ZYRTEC(R), today introduced a new online Allergy Quiz to helpAmericans learn if they may have allergies, so they can laugh more and sneezeless this spring.
Known for her characters on "Saturday Night Live"* and movie rolesincluding "Year of the Dog,"* Molly suffers from both indoor and outdoorallergies. "Allergies are not something I joke about, especially when I'm onthe set with my animal co-stars or spending time with my kids," she says."Before I learned how to control my allergy symptoms, it was really tough. Ieven avoided doing a lot of things I enjoyed because they triggered myallergies. I've teamed with AAFA, and the makers of ZYRTEC(R), to help otherpeople like me. They can tackle their allergies, like I have, and not miss abeat this spring or all year long."
Allergies take a toll on Americans both personally and professionally,according to a new survey by Kelton Research, in which 50 percent of U.S.allergy sufferers said allergies negatively affected their work, and almostthree out of 10 (27 percent) have missed an event, such as a wedding or party,because of their allergies. Hitting closer to home, one out of five (20percent) people told a family member they couldn't get a dog or cat because oftheir allergies.
The educational campaign announced today includes a quick and simpleonline Allergy Quiz with educational allergy tips, available onwww.AllergySavvy.com. By visiting the website, Americans can learn aboutallergy symptoms, how to avoid triggers, and how to best treat their symptoms.
"Molly's story shows people that they can manage their allergies, so thatit doesn't disrupt their quality of life," says Mike Tringale, Director ofExternal Affairs at AAFA. "With this new online Allergy Quiz, you can learnif your chronic sneezing, itching and runny eyes may be caused by allergies,so you can do something about it now and avoid major allergy problems thisspring."
According to Danica Schulte, M.D., of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in LosAngeles, parents with allergies often struggle to cope with their children'sallergies on top of managing their own symptoms. "I see patients all the timewho complain about upper respiratory allergy symptoms, and it becomesespecially difficult when their children have allergies too," Dr. Schultesays. "The good news is that an effective new treatment is available nowwithout a prescription at your local store. This will be a huge conveniencefor allergy sufferers and busy parents."
More than 35 million Americans suffer from indoor and outdoor allergicrhinitis, also known as upper respiratory allergies. Allergies are causedwhen a person's immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances.These substances are often referred to as triggers. People can encounterindoor and outdoor allergy triggers anytime throughout the year that can leadto allergy symptoms. Indoor allergies can occur year round and are triggeredby substances such as mold, dust mites, and pet dander. These allergens areoften inhaled through the nose and mouth, putting the allergens in contactwith the immune cells in the lining of the nose, mouth, throat, and airways ofthe lungs causing an allergic response.
Similarly, outdoor allergies can occur when outdoor allergens such aspollen from grasses, weeds and trees are inhaled through the nose and mouthinto the lungs causing an allergic response. Those who suffer from outdoorallergies are often affected by allergies in the spring and fall. Symptomsfor both indoor and outdoor allergies can include itchy, watery eyes, itchynose or thr