NORWALK, Conn., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Allergies and asthma affect six times more Americans than cancer, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. As the fifth leading chronic disease, allergies, along with asthma, strike one out of every four Americans.
"There are many pro-active measures you can take to prevent or treat allergies and asthma," said Peggy Fleming, Olympic figure skating champion and HealthSaver spokesperson, "especially during spring, the main allergy season."
Pollen, mold, dust and other allergens cause allergies in some people and not others because the immune system of allergy sufferers identifies these substances as harmful. The immune system's defense results in symptoms such as congestion, sneezing and watery eyes.
"To take control of your allergies, prevent exposure to irritants in
your home and be sure to follow the advice of your physician," said Brad
Eggleston, vice president of HealthSaver. An active approach is the best
approach in the fight against allergies.
-- Seasonal allergies' most common symptom is also one of the most common
illnesses in America: allergic rhinitis. Hay fever, as it is otherwise
known, causes the nose and airways to become irritated upon exposure to
allergens. This results in a runny nose and bouts of sneezing, much
like a common cold.
-- Unlike the common cold, however, rhinitis does not cause a fever and
will last for a longer period of time, usually weeks or months. If
left untreated, rhinitis may also lead to more serious conditions, such
as insomnia and fatigue.
-- The first step in controlling allergic rhinitis is avoiding irritants.
To reduce moisture and mold irritants, use an air conditioner an
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