Many know Melissa Rycroft as a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader turned prior contestant on the ABC’s “The Bachelor” TV show, and as a fierce competitor crowned winner of Dancing with the Stars fifteenth season. What many might not know is that Rycroft achieved all of this (and more) while suffering from year-round allergies. For Melissa, this means sneezing, itchy and runny nose, congestion and itchy and watery eyes—all of which have impacted her professional and personal life. Today this includes her busy days and nights as a mother of three while remaining in the public eye.
Unfortunately and for many like her (including yours truly), Melissa doesn’t just suffer seasonally due to her allergies to pollen and ragweed, but struggles year-round since she’s also allergic to dust mites—a common allergen often found in the home and nearly impossible to completely remove.
Her own extensive troubles with allergies have set Melissa on a new path to help other allergy sufferers understand new and exciting options that are available. Specifically, a type of treatment called allergy immunotherapy (AIT) that addresses the actual underlying cause of a person’s allergic reactions. It’s a bio-process that works with the body’s natural response mechanisms, training the immune system gradually to stop attacking allergens to eliminate or significantly reduce symptoms, as explained by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.
Because AIT has resulted in life-changing relief for Melissa and can do so for throngs of others, she’s now helping drive awareness for UnderstandingAIT.com, a new website designed for education around environmental allergies and allergy immunotherapy as a potential treatment option. The website is feature rich, offering a Doc Finder to locate an allergist in your area, a U.S. map of allergy (pollen) severity in each state, a quiz to evaluate your symptoms, and a discussion guide for your allergist visit, among other helpful resources.
Melissa is certainly not alone. According to an Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America report, more than 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from different types of allergies each year. They’re caused by the body’s immune system overreacting to a normally harmless substance like pollen or pet dander, according to the Mayo Clinic, which also points out what happens when exposed. When someone comes into contact with one of their personal allergens—substances in the environment like pollen or dust mites, for example—the body forms antibodies that trigger a chemical response, causing symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, congestion, or itchy, watery eyes.
Melissa laments the days of having these kinds of uncontrollable symptoms, from her time cheering on the football field to working on the local news with a makeup crew on standby for touchups to manage her red, puffy eyes. “I want others to know that there’s a lot to learn about allergies and especially about newly emerging therapeutic approaches,” she says. “Visiting an allergist to identify and understand my body’s response to specific allergens was an important first step, allowing me to make educated and thoughtful decisions about treatment options—with allergy immunotherapy ultimately determined to be right for me.”
Melissa also waxes poetic about the relief she’s finally experiencing, noting, I’m grateful I finally made that first allergist appointment, as life today is infinitely more comfortable and enjoyable than ever before. I’m thrilled to help others learn more about allergy immunotherapy through a comprehensive and user-friendly online resource like UnderstandingAIT.com.”
Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” and host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show, she’s a prolific consumer and business trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker who keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her prolific work reaches multi-millions via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***
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