Washington, March 21 : A new survey among allergy sufferers, consumers and physicians has revealed that beyond the sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, allergies dramatically impact a sufferer's mood and self-perceptions.
The new Harris Interactive phone survey was conducted on 1,000 allergy sufferers, 1,000 consumers (both allergy sufferers and non-sufferers) and 300 physicians.
According to "Attitudes About Allergies," 62 percent of allergy sufferers admitted that their allergies have an effect on their mood.
Nearly 51 percent of sufferers said that they feel annoyed; 48 percent said they feel irritable, and 42 percent said they feel frustrated.
Additionally, 22 percent confessed that their allergies make them feel less attractive, while 19 percent said they feel self-conscious.
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.
The survey also found that 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.
While the survey of consumers found that seventy-eight percent feel sorry for people who have allergies, many consumers believe that allergy sufferers exaggerate the severity of their symptoms (36 percent) and use them as an excuse to get out of something (30 percent).
A majority of physicians, around 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, the survey showed.