From the onslaught of sneezes this week I knew that the dreadful season had arrived. Of course my fellow allergy sufferers know that I'm talking about Spring. Every year this season brings with it much discomfort and often, pain, despite being on prescription allergy medication. To help make it through I look to technology. In a similar boat? Take a look at the tech in my spring survival arsenal.
Here are the things to do and own that help with surviving spring:
1. Begin the Allergy Proofing: Now is the time to do everything you can to get your home ready for the worst of the season. By taking the time to prepare now, you will save yourself much grief as the pollen count increases. This helpful home hack guide from our archives describes each piece of the allergy prep puzzle, which includes removing carpets and shoes as well as avoiding draperies.
2. Get an Amazing Air Filter: Despite being on serious allergy medication, I still need a kick-butt air filter. Having a good filter (we have a few in our apartment) makes our home a refuge and it also means I can sleep through the night. We have done roundups of beautiful air filters in the past, however if you have allergies like I do, then cute doesn't always cut it — what you need are compact hospital-grade solutions like the ones offered at AustinAir and Allergy Buyer's Club. We also have a helpful guide for choosing the right air filter. Shopping tip: look for a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of a least 200-250 for a smallish space.
3. Allergen Awareness Apps & Sites: Knowing what you're going to encounter outside before you leave your air filter bubble home is important. On high pollen days, I have been known to wear a mask when outdoors on my way to work to help prevent breaking down into a snotty swollen-eyed mess. Knowing the count also helps you to plan events, since the forecast reliably goes as far as four days out. In addition to the various sites that provide pollen count information like Pollen.com, there are also a large number of apps for every smartphone OS (my personal favorite is Allergy Alert).
4. Replace the Filters: Replacing the filters in your air conditioner, vacuum and fans makes a big difference. The allergy sufferer should not be the one to do this as the changing process will involve quite a bit of allergen exposure. How often should filters be replaced? Depending on your allergy sensitivity you might need to replace the one in your AC every 15 days during peak allergy season.
5. The Power of Sinus Masks: While these are decidedly low-tech and will do nothing to prevent allergy symptoms, they do feel fantastic when your nose is going haywire and your face feels like it weighs a ton and is on fire. This mask is the one we have in our home and I personally think it's the best $17 I've ever spent. For other natural remedies check out this post.
Do you know of a good air filter we should review? What tech do you use to cope with allergy season? Please share in the comments!
(Lead Image: Flickr member Laura Taylor licensed for use under Creative Commons)