1. Nasal allergy is the most common and troublesome allergic problem, affecting one out five adults and children.
2. The direct medical costs of treating nasal allergies, along with indirect costs of absences from work and loss of productivity, are conservatively estimated at more than $2.5 billion a year.
3. Untreated nasal allergies can lead to asthma, sinusitis, and polyps. Asthma is now the most prevalent chronic childhood disease. In the United States, asthma and associated mortality increased by 60% in the 1980s.
4. Patients with pollen sensitivities often report food allergies (fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts). Patients with grass pollen allergy report adverse reactions to specific plant foods (peanuts, garlic, tomato, onion, and various fruits).
5. Researchers are probing well beyond antihistamines to treat allergies. They are investigating drugs to block the activity of a wide variety of mediators of the allergic response. Eventually, it should be possible to fashion individual allergy therapies.
Article By: Michael Rush, Medical Writer