Hay fever symptoms, pollen allergy and how to deal with it
Hay fever symptoms due to pollen is a nuisance that many people experience mainly during allergy season. The sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes can be quite disruptive to daily life. Fortunately, there are solutions to reduce these complaints such as air cleaners, air scrubbers and humidifiers. Below, we look at how these devices help reduce hay fever symptoms and control pollen indoors by category.
What symptoms cause pollen allergies and hay fever?
Hay fever symptoms
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis or under the medical term pollinosis, is an allergic reaction to pollen released from trees, grasses and plants. Symptoms can range from mild to severe such as: sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, fatigue and headache. Hay fever symptoms can greatly affect daily life.
Pollens are small, lightweight particles produced by plants to reproduce. They are easily carried by the wind and can cause allergic reactions such as hay fever in people. The number of pollen in the air is highest during spring and summer but some people can suffer from hay fever symptoms all year round.
Air cleaners, air scrubbers and humidifiers: how they work and how they can help
Air purifiers are devices that improve indoor air quality by purifying the air of pollutants such as: (fine) dust, smoke, odours, gases, mould spores and, of course, pollen. Air purifiers work through different filter technologies such as: pre-filters, HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, UV-C lamps and ionisation. These devices can be particularly useful for people who suffer from hay fever symptoms and are sensitive to pollen, as they reduce the amount of pollen in the air and reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions.
Humidifiers are devices that increase indoor humidity by adding moisture to the air. Although humidifiers do not directly remove pollen from the air, they can provide relief for hay fever symptoms. By maintaining optimal humidity levels indoors, humidifiers can soothe dry nasal passages and irritated airways, reducing symptoms such as sneezing, itching and nasal congestion.
Air washers are devices that combine the functions of air purifiers and humidifiers, providing a comprehensive solution for improving indoor air quality. These devices work by both filtering air pollutants such as (fine) dust, smoke, odours, gases, mould spores and pollen, and by regulating indoor humidity. Air scrubbers can be particularly useful for people with hay fever symptoms and are sensitive to pollen as they not only reduce the amount of pollen in the air, but also soothe dry nasal passages and irritated airways by maintaining optimal humidity levels. This can reduce symptoms such as sneezing, itching and stuffy nose.
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Choosing the right device for your needs
With several options available, it is essential to choose the right device to relieve your hay fever symptoms and control pollen in your living space. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between air purifiers, air scrubbers and humidifiers:
Hay fever allergy relief and prevention:
If you suffer from hay fever symptoms, a dedicated air purifier with a HEPA filter is definitely the best choice for removing pollen and other allergens from the air. If you need a high-efficiency air purifier for allergy relief, you should realise that this discomfort is caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to specific allergenic particles in indoor air.
These could include pollen, dust, fine dust, house dust or flakes coming from pets. To effectively purify pollen and other allergens from indoor air, we definitely recommend choosing an air purifier with an original TRUE HEPA filter with at least class H13.
If you suffer from excessively low humidity in your indoor space, a humidifier is a good solution to remedy this problem. It can also reduce your hay fever symptoms by relieving irritated airways. If the air inside is dry, pollen can remain suspended in the air longer and spread more easily in all indoor spaces, which can increase the pollen concentration everywhere in indoor air.
With a relative humidity below 40%, there is a high risk of our mucous membranes drying out. With dry air, our mucous membranes become less effective, and pathogenic bacteria and viruses can easily enter our airways.
A relative humidity of around 50% therefore not only guarantees optimum comfort, but above all ensures healthy breathing air and also determines the quality of the indoor environment.
If you suffer from the combination of hay fever symptoms and too low humidity, the air scrubber is the appropriate system. This system filters air pollutants such as pollen and dust particles and increases indoor humidity.
The Clean Air Optima® 2in1 hybrid air scrubber system offers simultaneous effective humidification and air cleaning in your indoor spaces. The combination of four proven technologies of cold evaporation for humidification, air washing for purifying air, antibacterial water filter and activated carbon pre-filter ensure pollen reduction as well as a fresh and healthy indoor climate.
Take into account the size of the interior space you want to clean as the appliances have different capacities. Make sure you choose a device that can effectively clean and/or humidify the air in your living space. Research has shown that air purifiers are able to improve air quality in indoor spaces by reducing the presence of pollen, among other things. To achieve a reasonable level of infection protection, it is important that the air purifier has a capacity of two to three times the volume of the room per hour.
To clarify this, if an air cleaner has a CADR value of 400 m³ of particle-free air per hour and the indoor space is 100m³, then this air cleaner achieves an air cleaning capacity of 400:100 = 4 times per hour in the highest fan level.
The noise level of the device can also be a factor in determining your choice especially if you want to place the air purifier, humidifier or air scrubber in the bedroom. Due to their particularly quiet operation, Clean Air Optima® air purifiers, humidifiers and air scrubbers are suitable for all indoor areas where quiet operation of equipment is required.
Our Pollen Calendar: know when to be alert
An important tool for managing hay fever symptoms is keeping track of pollen concentrations in your environment. Our pollen calendar can help you with this. By knowing which plants flower in which months and when their pollen peaks, you can better prepare for the allergen season and manage your hay fever symptoms more effectively.
Download the pollen calendar here.
Factors to consider
Here are some factors to keep in mind when using the pollen calendar:
Use the pollen calendar regularly:
To know the pollen concentrations in your area, check the pollen calendar regularly. This keeps you informed of changes in pollen concentrations and allows you to adjust your allergy treatment.
Follow pollen forecasts:
Besides the pollen calendar, some meteorological services also offer pollen forecasts. By following these, you can anticipate periods of high pollen concentrations and adjust your allergy treatment accordingly.
Take preventive measures:
If pollen concentrations are high, you can take proactive measures to reduce pollen exposure. This can be done, for example, by keeping windows and doors closed, limiting outdoor activities and wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes
Combine with allergy treatment:
While the pollen calendar is a useful tool in managing hay fever symptoms, it is also important to combine it with other allergy treatments such as medication and the use of air treatment systems.
Tips for using air purifiers, air scrubbers and humidifiers effectively
Follow these tips to maximise the benefits of these devices and relieve hay fever symptoms:
Clean and replace filters in air cleaners, air scrubbers and humidifiers regularly to maintain their efficiency. For air scrubbers and humidifiers, clean the tank and other parts regularly to prevent mould and bacteria growth.
Place your device where you spend most of your time, such as the bedroom or living room. Keep it away from direct sunlight and heat sources to ensure optimal performance.
Combine with other allergy relief strategies:
While air cleaners, air scrubbers and humidifiers can be effective in reducing hay fever symptoms, it is essential to combine them with other allergy relief strategies such as regular cleaning, keeping windows closed during periods of high pollen and using anti-allergenic bedding.
Hay fever symptoms and pollen can be a difficult and uncomfortable experience. Fortunately, there are several devices available such as air purifiers, air scrubbers and humidifiers, which can help reduce hay fever symptoms and improve the air quality in the home. By choosing the right device and using it effectively, you can create a comfortable living environment and reduce the impact of allergies on your daily life.
It is also important to use the pollen calendar to keep abreast of pollen concentrations in your area and take preventive measures during periods of high pollen concentrations. Remember to combine these strategies with other allergy treatments, such as medication and the use of anti-allergenic bedding. With these tips, you can maximise the benefits of air purifiers, air scrubbers and humidifiers and manage hay fever symptoms effectively.
Frequently asked questions
Are air purifiers effective against hay fever?
Yes, air purifiers can reduce the amount of pollen in indoor spaces and reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
What is the difference between an air purifier and an air washer?
An air purifier purifies the air of pollutants, while an air washer both purifies and humidifies the air.
Is a humidifier useful for hay fever?
Yes, a humidifier can provide relief for hay fever symptoms by maintaining optimal humidity levels and soothing irritated airways.
How often should I change the filters of my air purifier?
It is recommended to change your air purifier's filters every three to six months, depending on the model and usage.
Can combining different allergy treatments help manage hay fever symptoms?
Yes, combining different allergy treatments such as medication, air purifiers and anti-allergenic bedding, can help manage hay fever symptoms effectively.