Public Release: 

New survey shows allergies dramatically impact sufferers' moods and how they feel about themselves

Fleishman-Hillard, Inc.

A new Harris Interactive phone survey conducted among 1,000 allergy sufferers, 1,000 consumers (both allergy sufferers and non-sufferers) and 300 physicians shows that beyond the sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, allergies also have deep and emotional impacts on a sufferer's mood and self-perceptions.

According to "Attitudes About Allergies," 62 percent of allergy sufferers say their allergies affect their mood. 51 percent of sufferers feel annoyed, 48 percent feel irritable, and 42 percent feel frustrated. Additionally, 22 percent say their allergies make them feel less attractive and 19 percent feel self-conscious.

Key Survey Results

  • The survey of consumers found that they view diabetes (81 percent), hypertension or high blood pressure (76 percent) and arthritis (57 percent) as more serious than indoor and outdoor allergies. Twenty-nine percent of consumers said they view insomnia as more serious than indoor and outdoor allergies.

  • About half (48 percent) of allergy sufferers feel their spouse or significant other do not view their allergies to be a serious health condition and that relatives (81 percent), friends (86 percent) and coworkers (78 percent) view their allergies as somewhat serious or not serious.

  • Six in 10 allergy sufferers (62 percent) report that their symptoms impact their mood; fifty-one percent feel annoyed, forty-eight percent feel irritable and forty-two percent feel frustrated.

  • While the survey of consumers found that seventy-eight percent feel sorry for people who have allergies, many consumers believe that allergy sufferers overstate the severity of their symptoms (36 percent) and use them as an excuse to get out of something (30 percent).

  • A majority of physicians (84 percent) said in general, patients do not overstate allergy symptoms.

  • In addition, most physicians view insomnia (83 percent) and osteoarthritis (69 percent) as being less serious or equally as serious as allergies. Physicians report they view diabetes (90 percent) and hypertension (84 percent) as being more serious than allergies.

  • About thirty-four percent of allergy sufferers see a doctor for treatment when their symptoms are bothering them.

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Full survey results are available at www.AttitudesAboutAllergies.com.

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