Newswise — Washington, D.C., March 17, 2011 – Today Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) released results of a first-of-its-kind survey detailing the impact of asthma and allergies on the people who cope with it every day. The survey confirms what many already know: asthma and allergies disrupt daily lives, not only for patients but their families as well. AANMA published the Impact of Asthma Survey results in the spring issue of its award-winning magazine, Allergy & Asthma Today, and on their website, www.aanma.org.
Nancy Sander, President and Founder of AANMA, says, “Survey results show we have a long way to go to transform asthma care and create a better future for generations of people with asthma. Proven best practices such as completion of a proactive asthma action plan are still not widely adopted, and uncertainty is a major force in the lives of patients and their families.”
AANMA publicized the survey through its publications, website and social media channels as well as community coalitions and clinics. The online survey was taken by 409 people and points to the significance of asthma and how patients and their families cope.
• Life on the Edge. 43 percent made at least one trip to the emergency department; 19 percent had one or more hospitalizations; 15 percent experienced a near-fatal asthma episode over the past year. • Allergy Testing. NIH Asthma Guidelines recommend finding the root cause of symptoms; 80 percent have had allergy testing. • Asthma Action Plan. The Guidelines say all patients with asthma should have a written Asthma Action Plan; 37 percent don’t have one. • Not One-Size-Fits-All. Respondents’ challenges differ from one to the next. Some face multiple challenges while others listed only one: inability to pay for medications; problems getting prescriptions filled with the drug prescribed by the physician; too many missed school and work days; and frustration that family, teachers or co-workers often don’t understand that asthma is serious or what their family is going through.
“Asthma is a constant factor, to be considered every single hour of every day,” one person wrote. “Integrating its effects and the fact of my child having a disability is difficult, emotionally taxing and expensive.”
Stuart Stoloff, MD, chairman of the AANMA Board of Directors, says, “Right now we have the knowledge to control and prevent asthma symptoms. Unfortunately, people are still dying of asthma, and survey results demonstrate that families continue to struggle. Healthcare costs both direct and indirect are a significant burden on our healthcare system. It’s time to change this landscape – and AANMA’s goal is to lead this change.”
To increase awareness, AANMA has launched an awareness campaign on the CBS Super Screen in Times Square this spring showing the many faces of asthma and allergies – young and old, at home, play and work. Sander adds, “Our message in Times Square is consistent with our mission: Asthma and allergies affect us all – our children, students, friends and co-workers. Asthma and allergies are serious.”
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), which represents allergists, co-sponsors the video. “Asthma and allergies are complex conditions that vary from person to person and can flare up unexpectedly. It is imperative that patients have the information and the medical care they need so they can have the best possible quality of life,” says Dana Wallace, MD, president of ACAAI.
Sander continues, “We are families, friends and co-workers. Everyday people who don’t look so different from anyone else. Our journey can take us through very rough times, as shown in this survey. Sometimes it’s the disease, but increasingly it’s healthcare policies that interfere with our progess. Ten people die of asthma every day. Their families tell us, ‘He didn’t look that bad just moments before…’ It’s time to tell a new story. We can eliminate death and suffering due to asthma and allergies now — but only if we work together. The time is now.”
About AANMAAllergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending 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 The MA Report newsletter, www.aanma.org and numerous community outreach programs.
AANMA’s Breathe: It’s the Law campaign spearheaded major legislative improvements for asthma and allergy patients, including the movement to get laws passed in all 50 states protecting students’ rights to carry and self-administer their lifesaving asthma and anaphylaxis medications at school. (Three states – New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin – still need anaphylaxis laws.) For more information, call 800.878.4403 or visit www.aanma.org. You can also follow AANMA on Facebook, Twitter and our blogs.
About ACAAIThe American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related healthcare professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.
To learn more about allergies and asthma, find an allergist and take an online test to gauge symptoms, visit www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org. Follow ACAAI on Facebook and Twitter.
The AANMA/ACAAI CBS Super Screen billboard ad was developed by AANMA and paid for by AANMA, ACAAI, Aerocrine, Dey Pharma, LP and services in kind provided by MBM Productions, Neutron Media and Phadia.