Monthly Archives: August 2011

Ragweed allergies lasting longer due to climate change!

Do your seasonal allergies seem to last longer now? Its not just your imagination! Given the millions of allergy sufferers held hostage by the drippy noses, burning, watery eyes, and continuous sneezing sessions it induces, ragweed may be one of the most hated plants on the planet.

A recent study, led by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with Rutgers, has confirmed a link between seasonal warming and a longer ragweed season in some parts of central North America.

“The main takeaway is that we are already seeing a significant increase in the season length of ragweed; and that this increase in season length is associated with a greater warming at northern latitudes, consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections regarding climate change,” explains lead study author Lewis Ziska, PhD, research plant physiologist with USDA’s Crop Systems and Global Change Lab.

Researchers used ragweed pollen and temperature data recorded between the late 1990s and 2005 in 10 different locations in the U.S. and Canada and found that in all but two of the areas analyzed, the ragweed pollen season increased—in some cases by nearly a month. The lengthening of the allergy season coincides with an increase in warmer, frost-free days. Researchers noticed a general trend—the ragweed allergy season grew longest in the higher latitudes of the northern United States and Canada.

Ragweed is one of the most common weed allergens, affecting about 10 percent of the population.

Ragweed

Among allergy sufferers, nearly a third endure hay fever misery brought on by ragweed pollen. Under normal circumstances, a single ragweed plant creates 1 million pollen grains; but a climate change–charged, more CO2-rich environment boosts that number to upwards of 3 to 4 million pollen grains per plant, according to Clifford Bassett, MD, medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York and a member of the public-education committee at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Here are some solutions to help you survive ragweed allergies:

• Make sure you’re actually allergic to ragweed. It may sound silly, but allergists recommend being tested to confirm you’re allergic to what you actually think is making you sneeze. ImmuneTech offers a home test kit for ragweed and other allergens; visit www.immunetech.com to order yours today. For a 15% discount, use code ILG at checkout.

• Plan vacations accordingly. For many people, February still marks the cold season, months away from the miserableness of hay fever symptoms. But take your ragweed allergy into consideration as you plan this year’s summer or fall getaway. Pollen counts are generally lower around water. So if you vacation during prime ragweed season—summer and fall, or year-round in places like Florida or Hawaii—plan some time on the beach or around rivers and lakes for some ragweed relief.

• Create better indoor air. While houseplants can’t rid your air of pollens you’re allergic to, certain houseplants can counteract indoor air pollution that further aggravates your allergy problem.

References:

http://www.rodale.com/ragweed-allergy-0

http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2011/03/seasonal-warming-lea-20110316

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MEIJER SUPERCENTER TO OFFER MyAllergyTest®

Foster City, CA – August 16, 2011 – MyAllergyTest®, the latest innovation in allergy testing, will be available by October 1st in retail markets in the Midwest through a partnership between ImmuneTech, Inc. and supercenter chain Meijer, Inc.

MyAllergyTest® provides customers with the ability to conduct a personal allergy test in the privacy of their own home.  Once diagnosed, consumers are better able to self manage their allergies. Until now, there have been no practical means for consumers to get properly screened and diagnosed for allergies.

ImmuneTech, Inc., an emerging life science company, developed this simplified yet effective test that also provides a personalized comprehensive plan.  The test is conducted with a simple finger stick, which is then sent to the ImmuneTech lab for analysis. It is FDA cleared and clinically proven to be as accurate as blood tests performed by major laboratories or at physician’s office.

The major benefit of MyAllergyTest® is that customers also receive MyAllergyPlan™ with their results. MyAllergyPlan™  provides them with useful information on how to proactively manage their allergies and symptoms.  The information in the plan helps consumers learn how to clean up their environment, avoid offending allergens and formulate a cohesive plan in conjunction with their pharmacist and healthcare provider. More information can be found on ImmuneTech’s blog, https://myallergysupport.wordpress.com/.

Allergies are on the rise and studies have shown how they can impact healthcare costs and individual productivity. One in four Americans now suffer from allergies, accounting for 17 million doctor appointments and 30,000 emergency room visits each year. Allergies can also contribute to other health conditions such as asthma, digestive disorders, migraines, eczema, etc.

Meijer is a leading supercenter chain with stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. With a strong emphasis on integrating healthy-living initiatives into various aspects of its store offerings, all Meijer supercenters feature full-service pharmacies and offer a variety of basic clinical services for its customers.

“Our goal is to make Meijer pharmacies a true one-stop shopping resource for our customers,“ said Nat Love, V.P. of Pharmacy for the Grand Rapids, Mich. -based retailer. “This includes ensuring we have the most advanced over-the-counter testing products. We are pleased to be able to offer our customers this convenient new way to test for allergies.”

“ImmuneTech is committed to seeing allergy testing not only become more accessible but also provide individuals with a means to control their allergies and not have their allergies control them,” said Lisa Elkins, CEO of ImmuneTech. “We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with Meijer to provide health-related solutions to the public.”

About ImmuneTech

ImmuneTech (www.immunetech.com) is a leading healthcare technology company focused on improving accessibility and affordability to the broader population in the area of allergy diagnostics.

About Meijer

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 196 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As the inventor of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com.