Did you know that about 8% of all Americans over the age of 18, and as many as 7.2% of children suffer from hay fever? And this number will continue to rise. Due to climate change and associated warmer weather, allergy seasons are expected to become longer and more intense in the coming years.
Let’s take a closer look at what allergens are, the different types of allergies they can cause, and why air purifiers are a safe bet against allergies.
What are allergens?
Usually refers to very small particles in the air - called inhalant allergens - known to make life difficult for allergy sufferers by triggering various respiratory symptoms. Sources of these inhalation allergens are found indoors all year round due to house dust mites, pets or molds. On top of this, a huge number of people also suffer from the seasonal occurrence of pollen, mainly between April and July.
Which are the most common allergens?
Consisting of many micro-particles such as skin flakes, the remains of microorganisms, fibers, bacteria, fine dust and mites; dust accumulations indoors can hardly be prevented. The size of house dust particles can vary greatly depending on their composition and can be as small as 10-0.1 microns. One of the main trigger for allergies are – grossly enough – the excrement of house dust mites, as the protein they contain can activate an allergic response. Since microscopic animals live mainly in a warm and humid environment, they prefer beds, carpets or furniture in order to spread. You should therefore be quite careful with humidifiers, which can create an optimal climate for mites to proliferate. Although the symptoms of a house dust allergy are less severe than those of a pollen allergy, they tend to occur all year round. With a runny nose and frequent sneezing being the most common symptoms, asthmatic symptoms such as shortness of breath or coughing are also not uncommon. In addition to that, feelings of listlessness or tiredness can run through the day and make everyday life more difficult.
In numerous living spaces, mold and mold spores can be found on damp walls, window frames and gaps. Since mold can spread quickly indoors by releasing spores, it is important to remove it as quickly as possible. Even though its spores can vary greatly in size and shape, the spores with a size of 3-10 microns are the main responsible for triggering allergic reactions. Typical places where molds develop are cellars, damp walls and bathrooms, as well as old furniture or humidifiers. Complaints and symptoms usually manifest in the form of respiratory tract stress. While milder symptoms can be a blocked, itchy nose or coughing and shortness of breath. In the long term, it can trigger attacks of neurodermatitis or skin rashes. And to make matters worse, it can also cause an existing asthma disease to worsen.
We all love pets, however they are also one of the top allergen sources indoors. Most pet allergies are caused by proteins in the saliva, sweat or especially dander of animals. Small particles that your dog or cat produces when scratching or shaking can stick to your indoor air for a long time and quickly trigger allergic reactions. Cats in particular are considered allergy triggers, as their allergy-triggering particles have particularly good floating properties, and can therefore also be carried to places that are actually cat-free. Allergic people often react with watery eyes or asthma symptoms, although the concentration needed to trigger an allergy varies from person to person. If a person is exposed to a long-term strain, lung function can also suffer and become reduced.
Pollen can come in many different shapes and sizes. While larger pollen grains are mainly transported by insects, smaller pollen is spread by the wind, where it can sometimes travel several hundred kilometers. Typical allergy symptoms are reddened eyes, rhinitis or sneezing fits. Many allergy sufferers feel tired during the pollen season and have difficulty concentrating. People usually suffer to different degrees depending on the severity of the allergy and the flowering time of the plant allergen. There are three main types of pollen that cause annoying symptoms for allergic people from February to September:
Prepare yourself for the pollen count. By using Breezometer’s pollen map there is no more guesswork. You can check pollen levels at their specific location even based on particular sensitivities.
Are Air purifiers a solution against annoying allergy symptoms?
Air purifiers for allergies are a helpful solution to combat allergy symptoms and thus make life more pleasant for many people. Air purifiers help avoid the triggers of an allergy by creating an environment that is as free of pollen and house dust as possible. To keep allergy symptoms to a minimum, an air purifier enables the collection of house dust on which the small mites feed, thus keeping their numbers low.
Pollen, which causes severe hay fever for many people for several months, enters the home through windows or door gaps or is carried in through clothing. Together with house dust or animal hair, a large number of allergens can quickly accumulate in your household. Thanks to an air purifier for allergies, however, you can filter the particles in the air and thus guarantee yourself the cleanest possible air. This alleviates many allergy symptoms, which allows you to live more comfortably in your home, not only in the spring and summer months but also all year round.
Air purifier as ideal support in the home office
Good air quality has never been in such demand as it is today. We spend over than 90% of our time in close spaces, bringing work and sports within our own four walls. Indoor air is becoming increasingly important for our health. As we breathe-in up to 15 kg of air per day, we become “filters” for small dust particles and pollutants. This can have a strong impact on the ability to concentrate and on performance, which is more significant now than ever, especially in times of pandemics. In such a scenario, air purifiers are crucial to guarantee clinically-clean air and thus create the best conditions for a productive andhealthy everyday life.
What types of air purifiers are best for allergies?
Allergy sufferers who are interested in an air purifier should inform themselves sufficiently before buying. What many people do not know is that there are different air purifiers depending on their needs, which can provide better or worse results. For mild allergy sufferers, air purifiers that include a HEPA filter are an okay way to keep the air clean of most allergens, such as pollen or pet hair. However, for particles smaller than 0.3 microns, even HEPA technology it’s not enough.
Ionizers are widely considered the best air purifiers for allergies, since they are able to filter even the smallest fine dust particles due to their filter technology by attaching themselves to charged ions and thus filtering them out of the air. Nevertheless, when considering a ionizer one should check its ozone production levels, which can become harmful to health in extremely high concentrations. This is typically found in very old and cheap ionizers.
In order for allergy sufferers to sleep comfortably at night and wake up fully recovered, it is recommended to run air purifiers on a low speed at night. To prevent your energy costs from rising, you should also consider the energy consumption of the air purifier when buying it. To ensure that continuous use does not become unpleasant due to annoying noises, especially at night, the noise level of your air purifier can also play a decisive role, which you should pay some attention to before your purchase.
Where should I place my air purifier for the greatest success?
You should place your air purifier for allergies where you or your family spend the most time and thus breathe the most air like bedrooms or living spaces. It should be noted, however, that rooms where cooking takes place produce a significantly larger amount of pollutants, which is why the use of an air purifier is also strongly recommended here. In addition, it is also important to create good air quality in the place where you work from home or practice sports in order to benefit from increased concentration or performance. Therefore, it is not possible to name the perfect place for an air purifier. Since you need to decide for yourself where to place your air purifier and should also have the option to be able to move it from room to room, make sure that you have a device that is as mobile as possible, which is easy to transport and can be placed anywhere without any problems.
A conclusive note
In summary, air purifiers are a very useful solution for all people, but especially for allergy sufferers, to eliminate symptoms by filtering particles from the air. In times when people spend a lot of time at home, measures should be taken to make life as pleasant and healthy as possible in order to increase your own well-being and performance.