Hay fever is scientifically known as allergic rhinitis, a common allergic condition that affects nearly 1 in 5 Australians or 4.6 million people nationally. Although referred to as ‘fever,’ there rarely is any fever actually involved but rather triggers symptoms similar to a cold, including sneezing, coughing and irritations in the throat and eyes, among others.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss hay fever, what causes it, how it affects us and why air purifiers are the ideal tool needed to help keep us breathing easier during springtime and other seasons where allergies may be prominent.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction experienced by millions of people worldwide that is triggered by pollen and other allergens present in the environment. It is also known as spring allergy, spring fever or pollen allergy.
What are the symptoms of hay fever?
Symptoms of hay fever are similar to those of a cold, which include sneezing, a stuffy nose, watery eyes, itchy throats, coughing and more.
These symptoms occur when the immune system reacts to allergens, in this case, pollen, as if they were harmful viruses or bacteria. Once they enter our bodies, the body releases histamines and other chemicals to combat these allergens, leading to the typical symptoms listed below
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy throat, which leads to coughing
- Fatigue from dealing with symptoms
- Headaches caused by sinus congestion
These symptoms are a result of our immune system responding to what is perceived as threats, and their severity can vary depending on individual sensitivities and the concentration of allergens in the environment.
How do air purifiers help hay fever sufferers?
Air purifiers help hay sufferers by capturing pollen particles from the air, trapping them in their filters and releasing cleaner air into the living space. However, this is only true if the air purifier was equipped with a HEPA filter like the ones from Ionmax.
Ionmax air purifiers are designed to capture 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, which includes pollen particles that measure an average of around 25 microns but can be as small as 2.5 microns depending on the plant species that produce them.
Apart from HEPA filters, air purifiers from Ionmax are also equipped with an activated carbon filter, a negative ioniser and a UV-C light for added protection against airborne pollutants. The functions of each of the air purifier’s filters against hay fever are explained below:
- HEPA filter - As mentioned, traps allergens as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen. Pollen particles are then eliminated from the air, and purified air is released back into the user’s living space.
- Activated carbon filter - Despite pollen being the main culprit during hay fever, it’s not the only concern. Odours released by other airborne pollutants like VOCs from cooking can exacerbate hay fever symptoms. Activated carbon filters absorb odour particles and promote air freshness throughout your living space.
- Negative ioniser - As the name suggests, negative ionisers work by generating negative ions that are released into the air and can attach themselves to pollen particles and other allergens. This causes allergens and particles to drop to the ground, reducing the likeliness of exposure and making them easier to clean.
Collectively, the multi-stage filtration system will help to create a layered defence mechanism against the spread of pollen indoors.
Although pollen can be the main cause of hay fever symptoms, other allergens in the air can serve to worsen conditions. An air purifier will help to remove the concentration of pollutants from the air, allowing you and your loved ones to breathe easier.
Some units, like the Ionmax ION430, are also equipped with an air quality monitor. This convenient feature indicates the concentration of PM2.5 particles in the air to allow users to make informed changes to the settings of their air purifiers.
What else can I do for hay fever?
Although air purifiers are effective against hay fever symptoms, note that their use is to be paired with changes in lifestyle to support sustainable measures against pollen and other allergens during an episode of hay fever.
Here are some proactive measures you can take to ease your passageways when spring blooms:
- Monitor pollen count - Stay up to date about daily pollen count in your area by checking online resources such as PollenForecast. Avoid outdoor activities on days that record a higher pollen count.
- Close windows and doors - During springtime, it’s best to keep your windows and doors closed if you notice that pollen tends to be an allergy trigger. This is especially true on days of high pollen.
- Frequent cleaning - Regularly clean surfaces in your home using a wet cloth to get rid of pollen rather than to send them back into the air.
- Change clothes and shower when returning from outdoor activities - When returning home from any activity, shower and put on a fresh new set of clothes to get rid of any pollen that may have gotten stuck on your clothes or skin.
- Stay hydrated - Drinking plenty of fluids can help with mucus flow, which can alleviate congestion and help make breathing easier.
By taking these proactive steps and pairing them with the use of an air purifier, hay fever symptoms and occurrences can be reduced, allowing you a more comfortable and pleasant experience during springtime.
Conclusion: Air purifiers for hay fever symptom alleviation
From the discussion above, we can see that hay fever or spring allergies are a recurring issue that millions of Australians will experience every year. Although there is no cure for it, a change of lifestyle can help alleviate its symptoms and reduce the severity of symptoms.
Air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters, like the ones from Ionmax, effectively filter out 99.97% of allergens in the air, including pollen, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and even bushfire smoke particles.
This makes them an efficient tool to help mitigate and ease symptoms of hay fever, allowing you and your loved ones to breathe easier throughout spring.
However, it’s important to note that air purifiers are meant to be a supplementary tool that will yield better results when paired with a change of lifestyle, which includes drinking more fluids, staying informed on pollen count, frequent cleaning and other methods mentioned above.
Browse through Ionmax’s range of air purifiers equipped with a HEPA filter and multistage filtration systems to help provide you with cleaner indoor air all year round!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.