"Don't Blow It" Online Health Game Launches; Low-Allergenic Tree Planted for Each New Player, Up to 20,000 Trees
KENILWORTH, N.J., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Does it seem that allergy season starts earlier and there's more pollen every year? Many scientists now believe that global climate change could be partly to blame.(1) To educate people about nasal allergies and the environment, the makers of NASONEX (mometasone furoate monohydrate) Nasal Spray, 50 mcg* have teamed up with American Forests, a national tree-planting organization. Together they have launched "Don't Blow It" (dontblowit.com) a fun and educational online health game with tips for nasal allergy sufferers. For each new player of the game, Schering-Plough will donate funds to plant a low-allergenic tree,(2) up to 20,000 trees, across the U.S. Low-allergenic trees rank five or below on the Ogren Plant-Allergy Scale (OPALS).(2) Once mature, 20,000 trees are estimated to absorb nearly 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year.(3)
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Studies suggest that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warmer temperatures mean more plant growth and pollen, causing earlier spring blooms.(4) In fact, global climate change may have caused spring weather to appear an average of 10 days earlier than in the past, according to research.(5)
"I've noticed that my patients with seasonal nasal allergies are seeking treatment earlier each spring," said board certified allergist Eric Schenkel, M.D., and Director of the Valley Allergy & Asthma Treatment Center in Easton, Pennsylvania. "As many nasal allergy sufferers face longer seasons and more pollen, an online resource like the 'Don't Blow It' game can help educate people about the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment, in an engaging and entertaining way."
"Don't Blow It" uses humor and animation to provide tips for managing nasal allergy symptoms throughout the year. The objective is to help Ronnie Nose - a nose with nasal allergies - stack objects while avoiding triggers and seeking treatment. Encounter one too many allergens and Ronnie Nose will sneeze, blowing away the items and points the player has earned.
Improving Air Quality
Allergy sufferers, like most all people, can do a number of things to help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, like driving less and choosing to walk, ride a bicycle or rollerblade. Another way is planting trees. According to a
"We are excited to be part of this innovative program, which reinforces our commitment to a healthier world through tree planting," said Deborah Gangloff, Executive Director for American Forests. "Together with Schering-Plough, we will plant a low-allergenic tree for each unique person who plays 'Don't Blow It.' Our goal is to plant 20,000 trees, which will help to absorb nearly 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide every year once they fully mature."(3)
Treating Nasal Allergies
Playing "Don't Blow It" is fun, but nasal allergies are no joke. Symptoms like sneezing, itchy nose, runny nose and congestion can be a real nuisance. Symptoms can occur year round or seasonally, and are triggered by indoor and outdoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander and mold.
"Because you can't completely avoid nasal allergy triggers, it's important to visit a doctor to discuss treatment options, like NASONEX, for your nasal allergy symptoms," said Dr. Schenkel. "And remember to take your prescribed medicine as directed by your doctor, even when you're not experiencing symptoms, to help keep them under control."
About American Forests
American Forests' mission is to grow a healthier world with trees by working with communities on local efforts that restore and maintain forest ecosystems. The organization's work encompasses planting trees, calculating the value of urban forests, fostering environmental education, and improving public policy for trees at the national level. American Forests has a goal of 100 million trees planted by 2020.
NASONEX is indicated to treat outdoor and indoor nasal allergy symptoms in patients 2 years of age and older, as well as nasal polyps in adults 18 years of age and older.(8) NASONEX is also proven to help prevent most seasonal nasal allergy symptoms in adults and children 12 years of age and older when NASONEX is started 2 to 4 weeks prior to allergy season.(8) It is important that NASONEX be taken regularly at the time recommended by the doctor, since its effectiveness depends on regular use. The maximum treatment benefit of NASONEX is usually achieved within 1 to 2 weeks. NASONEX is available by prescription only. NASONEX is nonsedating and not addictive when used as directed.(8) Side effects were generally mild and included headache, viral infection, sore throat, nosebleeds and coughing.(8) Ask your doctor about NASONEX. Full Prescribing Information is available at www.spfiles.com/pinasonex.pdf.
About Schering-Plough Corporation
Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription, animal health and consumer health care products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is www.schering-plough.com.
1. Rogers CA, Wayne PM, Macklin EA et al. "Interaction of the onset of spring and elevated atmospheric CO2 on ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) pollen production." Environmental Health Perspectives, 2006; 114: 865-9.
2. Ogren, Thomas Leo. "OPALS - The World's First Plant-allergy Scale." Allergy-free Gardening. 2007. www.allergyfree-gardening.com/opals.php.
3. "Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas." Colorado Trees. http://www.coloradotrees.org/benefits.htm
4. Ziska LH, Gebhard DE, Frenz DA, et al. "Cities as harbingers of climate change: common ragweed, urbanization, and public health." J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2003; 111:290-5.
5. Root, Terry L., MacMynowski, Dena P., Mastrandrea, Michael D., Schneider, Stephen H. "Human-modified temperatures induce species changes: Joint attribution." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2005; 102; 7465-69.
6. "Cars, Trucks and Global Warming." Union of Concerned Scientists. www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/vehicle_impacts/cars_pickups_and_suvs/cars-and-trucks-and-global.html.
7. Prow, Tina. "The Power of Trees," Human Environmental Research Laboratory at
8. NASONEX(R) Product Information. Schering Corporation.
* Calculated on the anhydrous basis
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