HORSHAM, Pa., April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Teva Respiratory and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) announced today the launch of a national awareness campaign - Ditch the Drip, Get Serious about Nasal Allergies - aimed at raising awareness of the seriousness of seasonal and year-round allergies and the need for people living with nasal allergies to adequately prepare for their peak allergy seasons. The program features two-time Olympic volleyball gold medalist and seasonal allergy sufferer Misty May-Treanor. Misty is speaking up for the first time about the impact her nasal allergies have had on both her career and personal life, as she prepares to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. For more information on the Ditch the Drip program, Misty's experience with allergies and to view an important public service announcement (PSA), visit www.DitchtheDrip.com.
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"I have struggled with seasonal allergies for most of my life and am excited to be a part of the Ditch the Drip program to help raise awareness of the serious impact nasal allergies can have on people's lives," said Misty May-Treanor, Olympic athlete and Ditch the Drip spokesperson. "As an Olympic athlete, I know the importance of being prepared and not letting allergy symptoms interfere with my competitions. That's why I team up with my doctor before my peak allergy seasons, rather than just waiting for the onset of bothersome symptoms. My goal in partnering with Ditch the Drip is to urge allergy sufferers to be proactive and schedule appointments with a doctor to talk about what they can do to nip allergy symptoms in the bud."
Nasal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis (AR), affect more than one in five Americans and are triggered by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens such as pollen, dust mites or animal dander.() Common allergy symptoms can include itchy and runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing. Sufferers may also experience reduced quality of life, including loss of productivity and absences from work or school, due to their allergy symptoms.()
"Working closely with patients living with nasal allergies, we have learned that despite experiencing the same frustrating symptoms each year, they are often doing very little to proactively prevent and avoid them," said Bill McLin, President and CEO of AAFA. "We strongly believe that greater education is needed to help patients prepare for and manage their seasonal and year-round allergies. Through our partnership with the Ditch the Drip program, we are empowering patients to take a more proactive approach to addressing bothersome allergy symptoms."
Visit www.DitchtheDrip.com to learn more about nasal allergies, Misty's personal experience with allergies and to view the important PSA featuring Misty. Visitors can also enter for a chance to win autographed 2012 Olympic gear from Misty.
About Misty May-Treanor
Misty May-Treanor is an American professional volleyball player and actress. She has won more tournaments than any other female player with 110 career wins. Misty and her teammate were the gold medalists in beach volleyball at both the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. They are the only beach volleyball team to repeat as gold medalists.
Misty has also struggled with seasonal allergies for most of her life and is now dedicating her time to educating other sufferers on how to better prepare for and manage allergies through her participation in the Ditch the Drip program.
About Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by symptoms such as itchy, runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing.() For many AR patients, nasal congestion or a stuffy nose may be the most frequent and bothersome symptom. AR is the most common allergic disease in the U.S., affecting between 10 to 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children in the U.S.() It affects more than one in five people, causing some to have symptoms year round - perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) - and others to experience symptoms during specific times of the year - seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) - such as spring or fall.()
About Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1953 that serves as the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies, and the oldest asthma and allergy patient group in the world. AAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma and allergic diseases through education, advocacy and research. AAFA provides practical information, community-based services and support to people through a network of regional chapters, support groups and other local partners around the U.S. AAFA develops health education, organizes state and national advocacy efforts and funds research to find better treatments and cures.
About Teva Respiratory
Teva Respiratory is the U.S.-based respiratory subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is a leading global pharmaceutical company and the world's largest generic drug maker. Teva has a global product portfolio of more than 1,250 molecules and a direct presence in approximately 60 countries. The company is committed to increasing access to high quality healthcare by developing, manufacturing and marketing generic products; innovative and specialty pharmaceuticals; and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
 Allergic Rhinitis. Retrieved on March 13, 2012, from the University of Maryland Medical Center. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/ altmed/articles/allergic-rhinitis-000003.htm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  Hay Fever. Retrieved February 7, 2012, from the Mayo Clinic. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hay-fever/DS00174.  Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever). Retrieved on March 13, 2012, from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). Available at: http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/types/rhinitis/Pages/default.aspx.  Rhinitis (Hay Fever): Tips to Remember. Retrieved February 7, 2012, from American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/rhinitis.aspx.
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National Awareness Campaign Aims to Elevate Seriousness of Indoor and Outdoor Allergies