How can technology help people manage their allergies?29.09.2022

allergy blog

With over 18 million people diagnosed with hay fever (allergic rhinitis) in 2018 alone, coupled with being the sixth leading cause of chronic illness, the inefficiency in the methods available today becomes evident. It demands that newer, more effective stop guards be implemented to curb allergens and help manage this staggering statistic. 

Technology had come to the rescue before, with the advent of social media and instant messaging, when we looked to make communication smoother. Now the world needs better allergy protection, and we turn to technology yet again. 

But is it one for now or for the future? The answer is much sooner than you think, but first, are allergies that bad, or can we live with them?

Allergies are a menace, more than you thought

Allergies are worse than they sound. A recent skin prick test study showed that 86.5% of the sample size showed a positive reaction to an allergen, with the two most common allergens being the floor mite (dermatohagoides-farinae) and the bed mite (D-pteronyssinus). 

The same study showed that nearly 94% of the people with a positive response tested positive for multiple allergens. This translates to an astonishingly high morbidity rate, and the microscopic nature of these airborne allergens does not make it any easier to protect yourself from them. 

Unable to avoid allergens with conventional methods, it becomes increasingly important that we can identify the allergy symptoms and take action immediately. 

The following are the common allergens and symptoms:

Pet dander

Pet dander is a flake of dead skin that comes off the body of furry animals. This typically would not be cause for alarm till you consider that 1 in 10 people are allergic to pets, and 62% of American households have pets, with the number of cats and dogs alone far exceeding 150 million. 

The pet dander allergen is tricky because the jagged shape means it lingers for longer and the microscopic nature only makes it worse. As a result, taking the pet (cat, dog, or any other furry animal) outside of the house does not help someone with a pet dander allergy because the dander can easily get caught in the sofa and other fixtures in the living room. 

Pet Dander allergy
Pet dander allergy

Symptoms

Persons allergic to pet dander could experience inflammation in the nasal passage that could devolve into the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose, throat, mouth
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion

People living with asthma may also experience the following:

  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Shortage of breath, wheezing, and coughing

Fungal spores

There are over 100 thousand known species of fungus; some create spores that can trigger an allergic reaction, for example, mold. 

Mold can grow indoors and outdoors and reproduces via spores, and these spores can be carried by the wind, insects, air, and pets. This presents a huge problem considering about 4.6 million of the 21.8 million people reported to have asthma in 2007 can be attributed to mold exposure in the home

The severity of a mold allergy differs with each type of mold. Some can make you feel generally unwell to the point of fever, some can devolve into anaphylaxis, while others can produce mycotoxins that, when absorbed by your body, can result in pregnancy complications, damage your lungs, kidneys, and even cancer. 

It is important to note that not all molds can cause an allergic reaction. The following are common molds that cause allergy symptoms:

  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Cladosporium
  • Aspergillus

Symptoms

The severity of mold allergy symptoms varies from person to person but is the same as in other upper respiratory allergies. They include but are not limited to the following:

  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy throat, nose, and eyes
  • Runny and stuffy nose

If you are living with asthma, the mold allergy could trigger asthma symptoms like the following:

  • Tightness of the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

House dust mite allergen

If you have ever had an allergic reaction, it is more likely than not to have been caused by house dust mites, as 10% of the world population has a dust allergy

Dust mites are microscopic arthropods (same family as the spider and ticks) that grow no more than one-third of a millimeter. Unlike its cousins, it does not break the skin, nor is it out for blood. Instead, it feeds on dead skin flakes that humans shed daily. 

People exposed to high levels of these microscopic arthropods are about five times more likely to develop asthma. To put this in perspective, the average human sheds 1.5 grams of skin daily, which conveniently feeds a million dust mites. 

Dust mites allergy
House dust mitte allergy

It goes from bad to worse when you realize that you can not entirely rid your home of these mites. The females lay hundreds of eggs in their life cycle, with each mite releasing poop nearly 200 times their body weight into your air. All of which can trigger an allergic reaction. 

There are about 13 different dust mite species, with the most recognized being the following: 

  • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
  • Dermatophagoides farinae
  • Blomia tropicalis

Symptoms

The following are common house dust mite symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Running nose
  • Itchy nose, throat, and mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Postnasal drip

Pollen

Pollen is powdery, granular “seeds” released by flowering trees, weeds, and grass to fertilize other plants of the same species. 

Pollen allergy, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever), is quite common, as shown in the 2010 U.S National Health Review, where 7.8% of the population was diagnosed with hay fever.

The reason pollen allergy is widespread is that pollen is in the air all year around. It appears early in the year with tree pollen

Pollen allergy
Pollen allergy

The following are some trees that release pollen that can cause allergy symptoms:

  • Alder
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Maple
  • Mulberry
  • Oak
  • Olive
  • Pecan
  • Walnut

Tree pollen can also overlap with weed and grass pollen, with where you live determining how exposed you are to grass pollen. People in the south are predisposed to grass pollen all year round, while people in the north have to contend with it in late spring or early summer. 

The following are common types of grass that cause allergy symptoms:

  • Bahia
  • Bermuda
  • Fescue
  • Johnson
  • Kentucky blue
  • Timothy

Weed pollen appears later in the summer and fall, bringing with it several allergy symptoms. This is especially true for ragweed, with 15% of people being allergic due in part to its growing in 49 states and the ability of its pollen to travel several hundred miles in the air. 

The following are other weeds that cause allergy symptoms:

  • Burning bush
  • Cocklebur
  • Lamb’s-quarters
  • Mugwort
  • Pigweed
  • Russian thistle
  • Sagebrush
  • Tumbleweed

Symptoms

These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing

Half measures: are they enough?

Okay, allergens and their allergic reactions are more than a handful. You would expect some measures are already in place to manage and prevent them. Well, not quite. There are, but they are not definitive measures. So how effective are they, and are they enough? 

Air purifiers

At first glance, air purifiers look the perfect fix to our allergen problem. But it is only a solution if you have an air purifier at home in every room.

The problem is that they are massive appliances. This makes it arduous or near impossible to move them around the house when you need to move about and it is not a solution for visiting your friends/relatives or when going to the office. They are protecting you in one place only.

Air purifier

Nasal irrigation devices

These devices are the next best thing after air purifiers, but they are with a few drawbacks. The first would be that they can be seen as reactionary, only coming into play when you already have allergens in your system and can already feel your body respond to unwanted visitors. 

Another issue would be that it takes some getting used to. Most people are not comfortable shoving things in their noses, let alone passing a liquid solution in and out their nostrils. It can be very uncomfortable and could bring about some reluctance to use the device. 

nasal irrigation
nasal irrigation

If only there were a way you could fend off allergens, not disrupt your day, move around, and still be protected indoors from airborne allergies. Enter Respiray.

Respiray Wear A+

One for now or the future? Definitely now, with the introduction of the Respiray wear A+. It is our most recent in wearable technology, and it promises plenty. This device revisits how you can keep allergens at bay, and the results more than speak for themselves. It looks at the current “half measures” and makes a solid improvement in the following ways: 

Respiray Wear A+
Allergy protection – Respiray Wear A+

Small and portable

Say goodbye to large chunky air purifiers and being confined to one space as you move about with this portable device that boasts technology that creates a zone of clean air around your face. 

Chic and comfortable

People with allergies no longer need to be afraid indoors. They simply start their days with wireless buds in their ears, smartwatches on their wrists, and the Respiray Wear A+ around their necks. It is comfortable, lightweight, and in no time, you would go about your day, forgetting it is even there. 

Prolonged use

How it seamlessly integrates into your day is guaranteed to make this device an instant favorite. You do not need to abandon your adventures to charge it as it packs a powerful 8-hour battery. 

Extensive tests

A common skepticism when a new product is launched is whether it will deliver as advertised. Well, this one does. It has undergone extensive user tests, with 9 out of 10 people impressed with the results. 

Allergen free air? Yes please

According to the United Nations, air pollution (indoor and outdoor) resulted in over 6 million deaths in 2016. A study by Ibon Eguiluz-Gracia shows air pollution contributes to the aggravation of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and other chronic respiratory diseases. These irretrievably show the need for clean air, a need that Respiray, with the invention of the Respiray Wear A+, is happy to meet. 

If allergen-free air is more your speed, sign up for the world’s first wearable allergy stopper today.

Proactive solution for allergies Respiray Wear A+
Proactive solution for airborne allergies – Respiray Wear A+