Aussies Waking Up to Allergies

Aussies Waking Up to Allergies

As the alarm clock wakes you this morning, spare a thought for the 9-in-10 moderate-to-severe Aussie allergy sufferers who report being woken often by their allergies. This comes from new research which also shows that on a bad allergy day, they sneeze on average 40 times a day - and 22 times just in the morning!

Mornings bring the most severe allergy symptoms for more than half of sufferers, and 92% report their allergies impact on their entire day ahead. Additionally, the research found one-in-two allergy sufferers have not gone into work or have phoned in sick due to waking up with allergies. The symptoms which are worse in the mornings were found to be sneezing (59%), itchy or watery eyes (59%) and a running nose (51%).

The family unit is also impacted as allergies interfere with the balance of relationships and family life. One-third of allergy sufferers are less affectionate, frustrated and irritated by their family. They also have more arguments with their partner or family because of their allergies. 82% reported some impact on relationships or family life.

Allergies are worse in the morning with researching showing that nine out of ten sufferer's allergies often wake them and 92% report their allergies impact on their day ahead. 32% said their allergies made them reluctant to go out in public or made them want to avoid people. More women miss out on their social lives (44%) compared to 37% of men.

Dr Timothy Sharp, clinical psychologist, confirmed the emotional impact of morning allergy symptoms. "Allergy symptoms are often at their worst in the morning, so they're affecting people's mood before their day has even started. This can significantly affect the way they approach the rest of the day. When you regularly wake up with allergy symptoms they can affect many aspects of your life, including work, family and relationships. They may even stop some people from carrying out basic task like exercise," said Dr Sharp.

Allergies should no longer be considered a seasonal affliction with almost half of sufferers reporting they suffer right the way through the year.

Associate Professor Dominic Mallon, Immunologist and Allergist from the University of Western Australia, advised Australian allergy sufferers to take note of when their allergy symptoms are at their worst in an effort to combat the debilitating effects throughout the whole day. "Allergies are under-recognised and are eminently treatable. They cause substantial morbidity in children and young adults and shouldn't be ignored. It's therefore important that allergy sufferers understand their condition and how best to treat it. People's circumstances and pattern of allergic sensitivity vary, so if you are suffering from allergies you should seek advice on how to best manage your allergies from a healthcare professional," said Associate Professor Mallon.

Women come off worse when it comes to allergies as they are more embarrassed of the effect the allergies have on the way they look, 35% of sufferers are reluctant to go out and are concerned about the way they look compared with only 27% of men. The affects of allergies have a greater impact on a women's mood for the day compared with men, 64% of women feel irritable compared to 58% of men.

The most common Australian allergy was hay fever (83%) followed by allergy caused by pollen or grass. Almost half (47%) suffer with allergies throughout the year and 53% suffer seasonally. 23% of Australians with allergies suffer for more than four days a week.

This quantitative survey was conducted via an online panel in August 2008 with 1,060 Australian allergy sufferers aged 20-49 years on their experience of allergies and the subsequent impact of the allergies on their lives. It was conducted by Galaxy Research for Schering-Plough. The questionnaire and findings were reviewed by Dr Timothy Sharp, clinical, consulting and coaching psychologist.

* Schering-Plough commissioned Galaxy Research to conduct market research among allergy sufferersin August 2008 to investigate their experience of allergies and the subsequent impact of allergy symptomson their lives. This survey was conducted via an online panel with 1,060 Australian moderate-to-severeallergy sufferers, aged 20-49 years.

Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centred global health care company. Through its ownbiopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that helpsave and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform tohuman prescription and consumer products as well as to animal health products. Schering-Plough'svision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders servedby its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J.,