HEALTH

Basketball All-Star Lisa Leslie joins Chattem on ‘Allegra Outdoor Challenge’

BY Michael Johnsen

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Basketball All-Star Lisa Leslie and Chattem last week created the "Allegra Outdoor Challenge," a series of workout tips to help inspire people to stay active outdoors during spring allergy season.  

Beginning in April, Allegra’s Facebook page will highlight photos and tips from Leslie detailing ways families can take the "Allegra Outdoor Challenge" and escape allergy madness this spring. 

"As an athlete and a mom, there’s nothing I enjoy more than getting outside to shoot hoops or run around with my kids, but when our allergy symptoms act up it can keep my whole family indoors," Leslie said. "I am thrilled to team up with Allegra and show families that with the help of Allegra their seasonal allergies don’t have to stop them from enjoying the outdoors and having fun."

"As the weather warms up there’s no reason allergies should hold you back from the things you love to do. For more than 15 years, Allegra has been helping families find relief from their allergy symptoms," stated John Stroud, EVP marketing, Chattem. "We are proud to team up with Lisa Leslie to create a program dedicated to helping families put allergies behind them so they can enjoy the great outdoors."

 

 

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Rite Aid greets allergy season with free screenings, offers for Wellness+ members

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is offering free allergy screenings, information and a range of products as the allergy season approaches, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

The chain said it would offer free allergy pamphlets at all its stores, as well as screenings at select locations in Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Pa., Buffalo, N.Y., and Nashville, Tenn. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has forecasted that mild winter temperatures, high precipitation and higher pollen production could make this spring one of the worst allergy seasons on record. The company also has launched a web page that includes details on Rite Aid Allergy Awards, which allow members of the chain’s Wellness+ loyalty card program to earn a $20 gift certificate for every $75 spent on Zyrtec and Benadryl products.

"The best way to keep allergies from spoiling the spring is to begin treating seasonal symptoms about two weeks prior to their onset," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. "That’s why now is the perfect time to let customers know about Rite Aid’s full array of allergy support, including personalized pharmacist counseling, allergy management tips in stores and online plus free clinical screenings to detect personal allergy triggers."

The company also said it would sponsor community health events during the week of April 14 at its nearly 800 Wellness stores, in which pharmacists would address topics like allergies, osteoporosis, men’s health and infertility.

 

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AAFA: Allergy sufferers in for long, severe season

BY Michael Johnsen

LANDOVER, Md. — Extreme weather patterns may contribute to a severe and long allergy season this spring, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The AAFA projects an increased potential for severe and prolonged allergy symptoms as spring arrives early, and as many regions of the country recover from severe storms and flooding.

"Severe weather patterns can bring higher temperatures, higher pollen levels and increased exposure to outdoor mold, resulting in spring allergies that can peak stronger and last longer," stated Bill Berger of the Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California. "Too often, people with seasonal allergies suffer silently while their symptoms worsen year after year."

Residents across the United States can expect more severe allergy conditions this year as an unusually wet winter and early warm temperatures lead to earlier tree pollination and higher levels of pollen and outdoor mold. Northern cities predicted to face a more challenging spring allergy season compared to one year ago include: Buffalo, N.Y., Springfield, Mass., Richmond, Va., Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. 

"The severe allergy conditions expected in many cities across the country means more challenges for patients, and a need for powerful and effective treatment options for them to help manage their condition," noted Mike Tringale, VP external affairs at AAFA.

AAFA’s ranking of the "2013 Spring Allergy Capitals" found that nasal allergies are a problem nationwide, but especially in southern states. Overall, 15 of the top 25 cities on this year’s ranking are in the South. These findings are consistent with research showing that spring now arrives 10 to 14 days earlier than it did just 20 years ago, bringing with it increased pollen counts.   

Recent hurricanes, severe storms and tornadoes also can affect the severity of spring allergies. The increased presence of mold in areas damaged by floods can trigger allergic reactions. Major urban areas and locations with significant construction also may see an increased risk for severe allergies, because pollen from weeds proliferates in places with development projects. Finally, ground-level ozone pollution can affect allergy symptoms.

For 2013, Jackson, Miss., claimed the top spot on AAFA’s Spring Allergy Capitals ranking, followed by Knoxville, Tenn. and Chattanooga, Tenn. Of note, three major cities, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Dallas each climbed slightly higher in the top 25 compared with last year. 

An interactive map of 100 cities, resources about diagnosis, prevention and treatment options, resources for physicians and more information on the study methodology are available at AllergyCapitals.com.

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