Allergies? Tech Tips to Help You Survive Spring

Allergies? Tech Tips to Help You Survive Spring

Joelle Alcaidinho
May 13, 2011

We don't know about you, but this Spring has been brutal for those of us at Unplggd who suffer from pollen related allergies. When we say brutal we mean that the symptoms have been so intense that we fear leaving the bubble provided by our HEPA filters. Since we cannot live in a filtered bubble, we've roundup up various tech solutions to help alleviate the seasonal allergy related suffering.

As one of the writers that suffers heavily from allergies, I type this post with swollen eyes, a runny nose, congested chest, persistent cough, and in an almost perpetual sneezing state. Amazingly this is despite the cocktail of PX allergy medication which makes me fear for what life would be like without the meds. If you are also feeling this way take a gander at some of these tech related solutions and if you have your own to add, please do so in the comments. Any help to get through this dismal, horrible, wretched season called Spring is greatly appreciated.

1) Knowledge is Power: While this tip won't provide relief, by checking out the linked site,, you will know what is going on in the air outside and when it is a good idea not to venture outside your HEPA bubble or meet friends for a picnic in the park (the very idea is so risible). There are also several mobile app solutions that do this including's Allergy Alert, Zyrtec AllergyCast, and Omnaris AllergyManager which has the added boon of allowing user input to track symptoms.

2) Replace the Filter in Your AC: We are so guilty of not replacing the air filter in our AC unit often enough and think this must be because we forget what a huge difference it makes. Depending on your allergy sensitivity you might want to replace the filter once every 15 days during peak allergy season. The process of replacing the filter, like most things one does during allergy season (like breathe, ha ha), will most likely cause your allergies to worsen so see if a non-allergy suffering friend or family member can do this for you.

3) A Powerful Air Filter: This one is pretty much a no-brainer, a good HEPA filter is going to make a huge difference in the air quality in your home and hence your quality of life. While there are a few aesthetically pleasing solutions out there (and for the record contrary to some of the comment the post was written by someone who suffers severely from allergies and the design angle on filter selection is because we are a design & technology focused site), but for a good selection of powerful compact(ish) hospital type grade filters check out the offerings from Austin Air and the selection from the Allergy Buyers Club and look for a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of a least 200-250 for a smallish space. This allergy suffering writer does not have a personal filter recommendation as all that she has tried have not delivered the promised relief.

4) Keep a Clean House: While the allergy sufferer should definitely NOT be the person vacuuming, a clean, frequently vacuumed space can help pick up the allergens that the air filter has missed. Not all vacs are created equal so make sure to use one with a very good filtration system.

We wish we had more tech solutions to offer for allergy sufferers as some of us literally feel your pain.

Do you know of a good air filter we should review? Know of a fantastic tech allergy relief solution? Please share in the comments!

(Lead Image: Flickr member Samuel Benoit licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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