Canadians seek allergy relief only when symptoms become unbearable

MONTREAL, May 21, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - A national survey conducted by Léger Marketing highlights that one quarter of Canadians who suffer from allergies will wait until their symptoms become unbearable before seeking treatment, while half of Canadians will wait up to 24 hours before seeking relief. The survey also shows that 17% of Canadians do not seek any treatment, choosing instead to tolerate their discomfort.

The survey, conducted by Leger on behalf of Merck, manufacturer of Claritin®, polled 1500 adult Canadians, coast to coast.

An "allergy", such as allergic rhinitis, is a sensitivity of the immune system to something that is ordinarily harmless, such as pollen. When the body tries to get rid of the "allergen" (foreign substance), one will experience allergy symptoms.  Typical allergens include pets, pollen, house dust and mold.

Common allergy symptoms can include sneezing, runny nose and itchy watery eyes, and can get in the way of people's everyday lives - impacting sleep, performance at work and other daily activities.

Impact of allergies on daily life
Approximately one third of the allergy sufferers polled said allergies affect their mood, while one third said allergies lead to feeling more fatigue. Other significant consequences referenced in the poll include lack of energy (26%), limited recreational activities (19%), missing out on fun outdoor activities (15%), decreased interest in school and work (10%), disrupts in sporting activities (10%) and negative effects on romance (9%).

A proactive approach to relieving allergy symptoms
According to the survey, 80% of Canadians who suffer from allergies understand what triggers them, yet do not take a proactive approach to relieving symptoms.

"The good news is there are ways to help manage allergies and relieve symptoms", said Dr. Marie-Josee Francoeur. "Know what triggers your allergies, get some advice to avoid them as much as possible, and be prepared with an appropriate treatment," she said.

Adopt new habits to reduce exposure to allergy triggers and reduce impact of allergy symptoms:

  • Beat the clock: Peak pollen production can occur in early morning, so try to plan outside activities at other times of the day.
  • Wash wisely: If you are going to be outside, it's a good idea to shower and wash your hair when you return indoors to remove the pollen, which can be an allergy trigger. This prevents pollen from being transferred to your furniture and linens.
  • Check the forecast: People with seasonal allergies, should check for pollen counts in their area. Pollen levels can vary day-to-day depending upon several factors, including the weather.
  • Consult an online Pollen report or download a mobile pollen report application to judge the pollen count in a region.

Léger Marketing methodology
The survey was completed online from January 14th to January 31st, 2013 using Léger Marketing's OmniWeb with a sample of 1,500 Canadians aged 18+. Survey results were weighted based on age, language, gender, and region, in order to ensure sample representation.

About Merck
Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well.  Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit


For further information:

David Barrett, CASACOM, Montréal at 514-286-2145, ext. 224 |
Kara Latta, CASACOM, Toronto at 416-944-2145, ext. 301 |

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