Multiple Allergies and Medicines Leave Patients With Mixed Messages
Patient/Caregiver Survey Reveals Education Gaps and Vulnerabilities
McLean, VA, November 8, 2013 – Nasal allergies serious enough for treatment with corticosteroids require diagnosis and ongoing management by board-certified allergists, according to a recent social media survey of patients and caregivers. Conducted by leading nonprofit patient education group Allergy & Asthma Network, the survey is being presented in scientific sessions at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
People who use or administer corticosteroid nasal sprays to children generally reported having multiple medical conditions and symptoms for which they used multiple prescription and other medications, says Nancy Sander, AANMA founder and survey author. Those whose care came from allergists reported greatest satisfaction with the treatment plan. Nearly all (91.4%) said best outcomes came from seeing a physician; 76.9% choose an allergist.
“Our survey responders were all previously diagnosed and relatively well versed in how to correctly use nasal corticosteroids, but the results show a lot of room for improvement in patient education,” says Stanley Fineman, MD, MBA, FACAAI, lead medical investigator for the survey and past president of ACAAI. “It is important to know why you are using an intranasal corticosteroid, when to start and stop using it, how to know if it is meeting treatment expectations, how often to have someone examine the inside of your nose and the reasons why, and how often to have your eyes examined.”
“It’s not intuitive information or something you know just by reading a label,” adds Sander. “You can’t do a nasal self-examination at home to see if your nasal tissue is boggy and allergic or sickly like a cold, or if it’s infected, deviated or full of sores.”
“This study also reinforces that we could all be doing a better job educating patients about medications,” Fineman continues. “I’m pleased that ACAAI accepted this study for presentation at our annual scientific meeting. It is time for more education and collaboration among patient advocacy groups such as The Network and professional organizations such as ACAAI to ensure best outcomes for patients.”
Must-Know Corticosteroid Nasal Spray Info:
Should be started before allergy season begins.
Should not be used to treat cold symptoms.
Does not give immediate relief.
More isn’t better.
If you have allergies, see a board-certified allergist and obtain a personalized prevention strategy to outsmart and overcome symptoms with minimal need for medication.
Read package instructions. Aim the nasal spray away from nasal septum to help avoid unwanted side effects.
If you can’t tolerate water-based sprays, dry aerosol sprays may be an option.
If you use other corticosteroids, such as eye drops, skin cream, asthma/COPD inhalers, nebulizer solutions or oral medications, talk to your doctor before using a nasal spray corticosteroid, to avoid risk of causing a systemic effect.
See your ophthalmologist annually if you are at risk for cataracts.
Results of The Network’s Corticosteroid Nasal Spray Survey are the subject of a poster presentation this weekend at the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) in Baltimore. The poster and accompanying abstract were prepared by Dr. Fineman and Emory University School of Medicine allergy fellows Anthony Nguyen, DO, and Marissa Shams, MD, along with The Network’s Nancy Sander and Laurie Ross.
Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. AANMA specializes in sharing family-friendly, medically accurate information through its award-winning publications Allergy & Asthma Today magazine and its web site at http://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/main and numerous community outreach programs. Follow The Network on Facebook at facebook.com/AANMA and on Twitter at twitter.com/AANMA.
Find a board certified allergist (www.AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org) for accurate testing, diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.