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I remember my mom and dad dumping buckets of water into the big humidifier in our living room each winter in Nebraska. I loved the warm moist mist that steamed from it, making the hot dry air pumped out by the furnace a little easier to breathe. I never really thought about it until I moved out of the house and started missing that “moist air feeling” in my own home. I’ve had a humidifier ever since.
The air in your house in the winter, no matter how temperate the climate, can get very dry. It happens right about when the heater starts clicking on. That’s when the humidifier comes out. Experts say that you should keep the indoor relative humidity (water vapor in the air) at between 35% and 55%. Get a hygrometer to easily test your humidity levels. It works like a thermometer.
Why Do You Need a Humidifier?
* Your Health: Low humidity dries your skin, causes nasal situations and makes your eyes itchy. Humidifiers keep your skin moisturized, help relieve cold and flu symptoms and can relieve asthma symptoms (check with your doc first). The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as other medical organizations, recommend the use of humidifiers and vaporizers for treating upper respiratory infections. Proper humidity levels year round will help you avoid colds, bloody noses and sinus problems.
* Lower Utility Costs: You will feel warmer at a lower temperature so you can turn your thermostat down a couple degrees in the winter.
* Your Furniture, Art and Instruments: Dry air can ruin your wood floors, wood furniture, piano, guitar and artwork.
* Your Electronics: Dry air causes static electricity. Sometimes funny, sometimes just a pain, but these “zaps” can wipe out computers and electronics.
What kind of humidifer do you need? Read Humidifier Types & Tips.
If you have a portable humidifer, are you keeping it clean or Is Your Humidifier Making You Sick?
Thinking about moving to Arizona to avoid nasal allergies? Think again, my friend. Allergens are everywhere. Pollen, dust, animal dander, mold – all seemingly harmless until your body mistakes them for something sinister, like bacteria or a virus. Next thing you know, bam! You’re a red-eyed sneeze monster.
Many people have seasonal allergic reactions to airborne pollens, grass and weeds. If you’re really unlucky, you’re stuck managing year-round with indoor allergens like animal dander, dust mites and mold.
You don’t have to suffer! Most people with typical allergies manage with Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicine. There are plenty of affordable generic allergy products, with the same active ingredients as the name brands. They can reduce or eliminate the allergic response and help you get through the seasons with minimal discomfort.
Most Popular Allergy Relief Products
Allergy Medications – Nip allergies in the bud with these allergy relief tabs and liquids, name brand or super value generic brands – your choice. For alcohol-free, sugar-free allergy congestion relief, try Expectorant Liquid Diabetic Tussin.
Shop all OTC Cold & Allergy Remedies
Nasal Strips – Open up those nasal passages so you can breath! Sleep better and perhaps even quiet those snores.
Air Purifiers – Indoor allergy sufferers rejoice! HEPA and Ionic Air Purifiers remove bacteria, mold, dust mites and other allergens from the air. Some remove nearly 100% of all toxins. Eureka!
Shop all Air Filters/Ionizers
Asthma? Check out our Breathing Therapy Products
Humidifiers – Humidifiers are great in certain climates, for every day use. They come in sizes small enough for your office, bedroom or entire house! Some cool, some warm. All great! Some of them have built-in ionizers that clean the air as well.
Read Do You Need a Humidifier?
Shop all Humidifiers and Vaporizers
Read Humidifier Types and Tips
Allergy Control Pillows – Hedge your bet against allergies with a hypoallergenic bed pillow.
Shop all Allergy Bed Products
Snoring Treatments – Anti-snore devices can be an easy solution to endless nights of disruptive sleep, but not every product works for every person. We see that by the individual reviews. They either work or they don’t depending on how you sleep, your size, the size of your mouth, teeth… it goes on. The alternatives to these low cost devices, however, can be even more daunting than trying them out.
Shop by Condition: Allergies, Nasal
More Allergy Blog Posts:
Yo Sneezy! Stop Tromping through the Forest
Allergy Relief Begins at Home
Here’s to a sneeze-free allergy season! Thanks, as always, for doing business with Allegro Medical. We appreciate you.
Sure, take your prescription antihistamines and over-the-counter allergy medications. After all, it’s a sneezy itchy mess out there. But according to WebMD Health News, 60% of people with springtime allergies have limited success treating their symptoms, by any means. There is “no single magic bullet” to eliminate allergy attacks.
The key to reducing allergy symptoms is to avoid contact with irritants like dust mites, dust, mold, smoke, pollen and animal dander all together. Easier said than done! So, you can at least reduce contact with these allergens by taking a few precautions to round them up or keep them out of your house to begin with.
Allergy Relief Products that Work at Home
HEPA Air Purifiers and Ionizers – High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter devices and air cleaners range in all sizes from table-top to room size and capture nearly all types of pollutants. A must for serious allergy sufferers.
Humidifiers/Vaporizers – Keeping humidity low helps control dust mites (the leading cause of nasal allergies), but too-dry air can irritate nasal passages and make allergy symptoms worse. Best to regulate the humidity in your home to between 30% and 50%. Keep tabs on your moisture levels with a Mold Alert Thermometer/Hygrometer.
Allergy-Free Bedding – Shop for mattress covers, hypoallergenic bed pillows, support pillows and pillow covers. All designed to block out allergen molecules while still allowing air to pass through. Dust mites don’t have a chance.
Over-the-Counter Allergy Medicines – Allegro carries many name brand and generic allergy relief medications. Check out our selection and save on generic brands with the same active ingredients as your favorite name brands!
See all Allergy Products
Keep allergens out of your home and give yourself a fighting chance for a sneeze-free spring!
Thanks for being an Allegro customer. We appreciate your business.
There are very few ways to avoid nasal allergies but hey, it’s worth a try, right? For example, I’m allergic to the yellow sneeze balls hanging from the allergy trees that line one side of my street. (I’m sure they have a real name, but that will do for now). So, what do I do? I stay on the other side of the street on my walks, and I steer clear all together when it’s windy. It seems to help.
The weird thing about nasal allergies – those caused mainly by dust mites, plant pollens, animal dander and mold spores – is that the symptoms sometimes don’t show up until HOURS later. I can be totally fine all day and then BAM! that night I’m a sneezy, drippy mess. Apparently it’s called ‘late phase reaction’ and they think it is related to airway inflammation. Now, Fluffy the cat may cause an immediate reaction for you. That’s an ‘early phase reaction’ or Type 1 allergic reaction. Read more about Allergic Inflammation and you’ll see how incredibly complex it is. No wonder it is hard to treat all the different kinds of allergies.
Back to avoidance. It’s hard to know what to avoid if you don’t know what is causing your allergies. You might think about getting tested.
If you know what you’re allergic to, here are some suggestions on how to avoid them:
Pollen – Close your windows and use your air conditioning, especially in the bedroom. Avoid morning exercise outside because pollen levels are higher then. Tree pollen is prevalent in early spring. Avoid grass pollen in May and June and weed pollen in late summer and fall. If you’re allergic to ragweed, watch out from mid-August until mid-October.
Dust Mites – Keep your bedroom clean of mites – those little microscopic creatures that live and poop in your bedding, pillows and mattresses. Mite-proof your pillows and mattresses with Allergy-Free Pillows, Anti-Allergy Pillow Cases and Anti-Allergen Mattress Encasings. Read Why Your Pillow is Gross. Wash your bedding every week in hot water (130 degrees). Wash your blankets and comforters once or twice a month. If you live in a humid environment, think about getting a de-humidifier. Dust mites thrive in humid climates.
Pets – Keep them out of the bedroom or out of the house all together. Keep them off the furniture. Talk to your doctor about medication that may help your symptoms and save you from giving your pet away. Have someone else bathe Fido on a weekly basis. Consider removing your carpet from common areas of the home. Vacuum frequently with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. Monitor your reactions to pet dander carefully. Even after the animal is gone there will still be dander flying around for months so you should steam clean all carpeting and furniture, plus clean the drapes and bedding.
Indoor Mold – Outdoor air is usually the cause of indoor mold but humidity in your kitchen, bathroom and basement can also cause indoor spores that lead to an increase in allergic rhinitis symptoms. If you see mold or mildew in your house, kill it with a 5 to 10% diluted bleach solution. Check for water leaks and make sure moist areas are ventilated or use a de-humidifier to reduce mold growth. Use your bathroom exhaust fan after showering and in your kitchen to remove water vapors. Keep your refrigerator clean and trash cans clean and closed. Don’t store things in your basement or attic that can accumlate mold. If you have water damage or a lot of mold, call someone. It’s dangerous and the damaged parts may need to be removed. Check your house with a Mold Alert.
And if you’re sneezy, don’t tromp through the forest.
See our Top 5 Allergy Products.
Bless you for your continued support.
Allergies are in full bloom here. The sounds of sneezes and sniffles fill the air here at the Allegro HQ and everyone is asking themselves… “Do I have a cold? Is it Allergies? Do I have a cold?….
If you can’t tell, and it is April in AZ, it’s probably nasal allergies.
Back when, folks moved here from other States to get away from allergens, and for the dry air. But, ooops, they brought their allergy trees with them and now they are everywhere, chock full of pollenous sneezeballs. Nice going, ancestors.
Okay, so here are our Top 5 Allergy Products. Feel better!
1. Autodrop Eye Drop Guide – I pride myself on my eye dropping prowess. But hey, not everyone is rock steady with nerves of steel. That’s probably why we sell so many of these! Don’t waste another drop, squirting your forehead and your ears and chin with allergy eye drops. Let us guide you.
2. Multi-Tech 2000 Air Purifier. With a name like that, who could resist? It combines 6 proven air-cleaning technologes into one unit, including a true HEPA Filter. Removes dust, allergens, mold, micro-organism, cigarette smoke, odors, chemicals, bacteria and much more.
See all Air Purifiers.
3. Allergy-Free Pillow – Everyone should have a hypoallergenic pillow even if you don’t have allergies. The extremely small fabric pore size creates a barrier to allergens including lint, dust, dust mites and their… um… by-products. Raise your hand if you want to avoid sleeping on dust mite poo! That’s what I thought. You can put your hand down now. You’ll need it for ordering. 🙂 Read Why Your Pillow is Gross and How to Pick a New One. Go a step further and spring for a Zip & Block Anti-Allergen Mattress Encasing.
See All Pillows.
4. Ultrasonic, Cool-Mist Humidifier 2500X – Makes you feel better. Keeps your nasal passages moist. This one has an optional Ion-Exchange Filter. Read Humidifier Types & Tips for more ideas.
5. Nasal Spray – Saline 1.5 oz – Squirt this up your nose if it is dry or if you have nasal congestion. It helps keep your nose moist inside and it shrinks swollen nasal membranes. Great especially if you have to fly and you have allergies. It seems to help me ward off sinus infections too, when I’m feeling sinus congestion, but don’t take that as medical advice. Use Simply Saline Nasal Moist Gel with Aloe ‘around’ the nose for soothing relief.
Bonus Tip: Save your marriage and try the Snore Wizard if your allergy induced snoring is driving your spouse crazy.
See All Nasal Allergy Products.
For tips on avoiding nasal allergens, read Yo Sneezy! Stop Tromping through the Forest.
First of all, Do You Need a Humidifier?
Central humidifiers are built into home heating and air conditioning systems and are designed to humidify the whole house.
Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with ultrasonic vibration.
Surround Air MiniAire Humidifier – A palm-sized humidifier that’s perfect for your office or car. Weighs less than 1 lb.
SonicAire Humidifier – Ultrasonic cool mist with built-in air purifying ionizer. 2 gallon tank for up to 30 hours of operation without refills.
Impeller humidifiers produce a cool mist with a rotating disk.
Sunbeam Cool Mist Impeller Humidifier – Perfect for small to medium-sized rooms. Produces a refreshing cool mist. Contemporary design.
Evaporative humidifiers use a fan to blow air through a wet wick, filter or belt.
Care-Free Humidifier Plus – 2.5 gallon. PermaWick, mechanical humidistat, NiteGlo night light and 2-speed whisper quiet Hunter fan. Needs no regular maintenance. Clean once a year. Triple antibacterial SafeSystem protects 100% agains bacteria, molds & spores.
Steam vaporizers use electricity to create steam that cools before leaving the machine. Avoid this type of humidifier if you have children; hot water inside this type of humidifier may cause burns if it’s spilled.
Sunbeam Warm Mist Vaporizer Humidifier – Produces a soothing warm mist to combat coughs and colds. Great for small rooms. Up to 14 hours on 1 filling. Sleek and compact. Easy to clean.
- Keep your humidifier clean and maintained or you could get sick. Dirty reservoirs and filters quickly grow bacteria and mold. Read Is Your Humidifier Making You Sick?
- Talk to your doctor about using a humidifier if you have asthma or allergies.
- Test the humidity in your home with a hygrometer or “Mold Alert”. A healthy range is between 35% and 55%.
- Rule of thumb: 40°F outside 45% humidity inside; 20°F out, 35% in; 0°F out, 25% in, -10°F out, 20% in.
- Move to another State if it’s 10 below in the winter. Okay, anyway…
- High humidity can be remedied by an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
- Some rooms will be higher in humidity than others. Even if you have a central humidifier unit, you may need to regulate some rooms with separate units.
- You can remove excess humidity in kitchen and baths by running the vent/fan during cooking and bathing, and afterwards for about 20 minutes.
- You may consider a cool mist humidifier for children, so they don’t risk accidental steam burns.
Apparently you can get really, really sick if you don’t keep your portable humidifier clean.
Here are Mayo Clinic’s Tips for portable humidifiers:
Use distilled or demineralized water. Tap water contains minerals that can create deposits inside your humidifier that promote bacterial growth. And, when released into the air, these minerals often appear as white dust on your furniture. You may also breathe in some minerals that are dispersed into the air. In addition, use demineralization cartridges or filters if recommended by the manufacturer.
Clean humidifiers every three days. Unplug the humidifier before you clean it. Remove any mineral deposits or film from the tank or other parts of the humidifier with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is available at pharmacies. Some manufacturers recommend using chlorine bleach or other disinfectants.
Keep the area around humidifiers dry. If the area around a humidifier becomes damp or wet — including windows, carpeting, drapes or tablecloths — turn the humidifier down or reduce how frequently you use it.
Consider replacing your humidifier each season. Over time, your humidifier can build up deposits that are difficult or impossible to remove and encourage growth of bacteria. Even if you plan to toss out your humidifier at the end of the season, it still needs frequent cleaning in the meantime.
To keep humidifiers free of harmful mold, fungi and bacteria, follow the guidelines recommended by the manufacturer.
Buy one from Allegro Medical that needs very little maintenance, like the 3.5 Gallon Care Free Humidifier Plus with 100% protection against bateria, molds and spores.
For more info, see Humidifier Types & Tips.
Your pillow is just as important as your mattress when chasing that perfect night’s sleep. If you have headaches, neck pains, shoulder pains, numbness, sneezing, snoring or wheezing when you wake up, your pillow may not be causing the problem, but it is likely contributing.
It may be time for a new pillow for several reasons. Here’s a really good one . . . it is probably crawling with fungi and buggies. Yes, it’s true. The journal “Allergy”, published in 2006, says that pillows as young as 18 months old contained up to 47 different kinds of fungi! The researchers found about four to 16 fungi species per pillow, with synthetic pillows having more. In that case, if you have allergies or asthma, your pillow is probably not helping matters. Besides, it’s gross. Consider tossing your old pillows and replacing them with a new fungus free or anti-microbial pillows. While you’re at it, you might as well choose your pillows according to the most important criteria: how you sleep.
At AllegroMedical.com we display about 70 bed pillows in our Pillows category. To save you the trouble, I’ve separated them according to sleep type and specialty pillows. I’m searching for the perfect pillow myself, so I’m hoping this endeavor will bear fruit for us all.
The perfect pillow will keep your head aligned right on top of your shoulders when lying down – not too far to either side, or up and down. Therefore, the thickness of your pillow is important, depending on how you sleep. Think you need the biggest, longest, fluffiest, most expensive pillow every made? Au contraire. In fact, pillows that are too dense, fluffy or wide merely create tension in your neck and shoulders.
Pillows by Sleep Type
Side Sleeper Pillows are lofty and thick so they keep your head staight by filling in the space between your head and shoulders. Our most popular pillow, the Better Sleep Pillow was originally designed for side sleepers, but it also works great for back sleepers and stomach sleepers because of it’s mult-positional, multi-functional contoured design. This is also true of our Sleepmatterzzz Dual-Valve Cervical Pillow, a super popular pillow with 5 star reviews. See all Sleepmatterzzz pillows.
Back Sleeper pillows are designed so that when you are lying on your back your head stays neutral – perfectly aligned with your spine, sitting squarely on your shoulders. We have several pillows that support both side and back sleepers by automatically adjusting as your sleeping position changes. If you alternate between your back and your side (or your side and your stomach) be sure to get one that works in multiple positions.
Stomach sleepers are just weird. Okay, that’s what I tell my stomach sleeper boyfriend Todd anyway. Seriously, though, experts say it is not the best way to sleep because if your bed is soft and you use a pillow, then you are not keeping your head neutral. But if you must sleep on your stomach then please use a specially designed pillow, a very thin pillow or no pillow at all. The Sleepmatterzzz Dual-Valve Cervical Pillow would be perfect for sleepers who switch from their side to their stomach.
Allergy-Free Pillows and Covers are a must for allergy sufferers. We even have an Anti-Allergen Mattress Cover.
Anti-Snore Pillows: The Snore-No-More Anti Snoring Pillow is our most popular, but from reading the reviews, it either works or it doesn’t work at all. It was featured in Woman’s World Magazine as the “best snoring pillow” though, and it seems to help a lot of people. See our Snoring Section for all of our anti-snoring products.
Bed Wedges and Body Positioners are ideal for helping your body maintain a comfortable body position while you sleep. They are often used for post-surgery bedrest , footrest or blank support as well. The leg/knee wedges and back wedges are especially popular. You can put them between your knees for side sleeping, or under your knees, or behind your back.
Body Pillows are especially good for side sleepers and pregnant women who like to keep their spines aligned, and circulation going by sleeping with a pillow between their knees.
Cervical Pillows come in all shapes and sizes, but they are all designed to support the neck. Cervial pillows help relieve pain associated with muscle tension, stress and strain by promoting proper alignment and support.
Cooling Pillows/Covers are heaven for hot summer nights and hot flashes. I have two Chillow Pillows that I use all Arizona summer long. They are super popular and I highly recommend them.
Water Pillows allow you to personalize your pillow by filling a water pouch inside the pillow for soft, medium or firm support.
You can’t tell what’s going to work until you sleep on it so try to get the one that fits the best with your sleep style. In my case, I’ve kissed a lot of toads, but I will continue to seek out the perfect pillow. Even punching and feeling it in a retail store doesn’t make much of a difference.
See our new category, Beds, and also read how to retrofit the rest of your bed in my blog Bed Check for Better Sleep.
At least we have a lot of products to choose from, right? Happy shopping!
June 21st marked the first official day of summer and along with the great weather and vacations it’s also a time of angst for allergy sufferers. And though there are many, many symptoms of allergies to mull over and gripe about, there is one major — and sometimes life threatening — aspect of the allergy season that some do not consider and that’s asthma.
Although asthma is not always linked to allergies, one in four people with allergies suffer from asthma symptoms and many asthma attacks are found to be induced by allergens in the air. So, that makes this time of year especially hard on asthma sufferers.
If you’re like me and you suffer from asthma, you know what it’s like to feel as if you’re drowning on dry land. I have lived with asthma for over ten years and at one point had to use my rescue inhaler more than four times a day. My days were filled with anxiety and fear over the fact that I would spend the rest of my life gasping for air. An automatic reflex such as breathing is something most people take for granted, but it ruled my thoughts. It wasn’t until recently that I was able to learn how to keep my asthma under control by learning what triggers my attacks, how to avoid the triggers and how to strengthen my lungs to reduce future attacks.
Did you know the average asthmatics lung capacity is less then half that of a non-asthmatic? That’s a scary statistic. Letting asthma go unmanaged and untreated is a dangerous gamble that could result in emergency room visits. Everyone with asthma has different triggers and will require custom treatments prepared and discussed with their personal physician. But, everyone with Asthma can always benefit from a few simple steps at home to reduce their risk of an attack and build lung strength.
Allegro Medical can provide some solutions and products for you and your family to help reduce the risk of asthma-induced injury and hopefully decrease your anxiety as well.
Asthma allergic triggers include pollens, pet dander, dust mites, mold, trees, grasses and flowers. A few steps you can take to reduce your chance of an allergy-induced asthma attack are as follows:
1. Vacuum and dust frequently making sure to concentrate on the areas you inhabit most such as bedrooms and living rooms. Dust everything from electronics to ceiling fans and baseboards. It all eventually gets kicked into the air and into your lungs.
2. Whenever possible keep windows closed and use your air conditioner to cool and circulate air. Open windows invite your allergen foes right into your home.
3. Cover your mattress and pillows with our Allergen-Proof Pillow Cases and Zip and Block Anti-Allergen Mattress Encasing. Natural down filled pillows attract and store dust mites so invest in our Allergy Free Pillows.
4. Consider an air purifier such as Allegro’s XJ-3800 Intelligent Air Purifier and Surround Air Car Ionizer. An air purifier can help reduce the triggers you can’t see.
5. If you must exercise or work outside wear a respirator mask such as Allegro’s All-Purpose Respirator Mask whenever possible. Consider it an investment in your lungs’ future.
For asthma induced by non-allergen irritants such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, room fresheners, chemicals, perfumes, air pollution and stress, take the following steps:
1. Avoid exercise and time outdoors completely on high pollution/allergy advisory days. You can check that at weather.com.
2. Discontinue all use of candle, spray or plug-in air fresheners. You can eliminate the need for these items by cleaning your home regularly and discarding of odorous trash promptly.
3. If you can’t avoid social situations that involve cigarette smoke or strong perfumes make sure you use your asthma inhaler before coming into contact with them. This can help reduce the likelihood of breathing difficulty while exposed to these items. But avoid exposure to tobacco smoke as a general “duh” rule of thumb.
4. Build up lung strength with our Power Lung Exerciser. There are several levels of resistance with the Power Lung so you can find the one best for your needs.
5. Take time every day to reduce stress and tension. Relax and unwind with a little daily Yoga courtesy of Flow Yoga
Children with asthma can’t always vocalize when they are having difficulty breathing or know what their triggers are. It’s not always possible to keep your child indoors and you don’t want to reduce their activities when they need the exercise. Here are some things you can do to help you child manage their asthma:
1. Monitor lung function with Allegro’s Peak Flow Meter or Spirometer. Keeping a daily record of your peak flow is a great tool to help your doctor monitor your asthma.
2. Children often need help taking their asthma medication correctly so purchase the OptiHaler Drug Delivery Spacer from Allegro to keep handy and maximize the medications effectiveness.
3. Encourage regular exercise on clean air days to help build and maintain existing lung function. And never smoke around your child.
4. Make sure you child’s school is aware of their condition and allows them to carry a rescue inhaler with them at all times.
The bottom line is to stay in control of your environment. Work with your doctor to find out more about your triggers and how to better manage them. And remember Allegro is here every season of the year to help with your home healthcare needs. Shop by Condition to see all of our Allergy Relief Products and Asthma Relief Products.