First broad treatment guidelines for allergies to be announcedFebruary 10, 1999
Web posted at: 10:09 a.m. EST (0709 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A task force of major medical organizations is expected Wednesday to announce the first-ever broad-scale treatment guidelines for allergies, a problem affecting nearly 50 million Americans.
The report contains information on diagnosing and treating allergies in adults and children.
According to Dr. Gary S. Rachelefsky, task force co-chairman, until Wednesday there was no standardized set of recommendations for treating the one in five Americans who suffer from allergies.
"This is the first time that a task force, members of organizations who represent the wider spectrum of medical professionals, has worked together to develop standardized treatment recommendations for some of our most prevalent, chronic disorders." Rachelefsky said.
"The development of this consensus document has the potential to have an immediate impact on millions of adults and children across the country."
Members of the task force praised the recommendations, citing the necessity of combating chronic allergies that pose serious threats to quality of life and patient well-being.
An example -- "hay fever" -- once dismissed as an "annoyance," affects more than 35 million people a year, causing sneezing itching fatigue and other symptoms severe enough to limit productivity and interfere with daily activities.
"Allergy sufferers are now realizing that allergic symptoms: seasonal or chronic itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, headaches, fatigue, sneezing or hives -- can be treated easily, effectively and safely." Rachelefsky said.
Ask the Physician - Air filters and allergies
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