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Beat the Sneezes: Tips and Apps to Tackle Seasonal Allergies Head-On

Allergens can be found in spots you don't often think about. Follow these tips to beat seasonal allergies like a pro.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Nasha Addarich Martínez Managing Editor
Nasha is a Managing Editor for CNET, overseeing our sleep and wellness verticals. She is a nutrition, mental health, fitness and sleep science enthusiast. Her passion for mindful and holistic practices transcends her personal life and profoundly influences her editorial approach, as she weaves evidence-based insights with practical advice to inspire readers to lead healthier, more balanced lives. Throughout her career, she's covered various topics including financial services, technology, travel and wellness.
Expertise Sleep | Mental health | Personal care | Fitness | Nutrition Credentials
  • Sleep Science Coach Certification from The Spencer Institute.
Alina Bradford
Nasha Addarich Martínez
3 min read
Woman sneezing.
Raquel Arocena Torres/Getty Images

Itchy, watery eyes? Check. Runny nose? Check. The scratchy throat? Bingo. Yep, it's allergy season. While it may not be possible to avoid all allergens, you can at least manage them with some cool tech and other smart tips. Give these a try.

Download an app to track pollen count

If you're plagued with seasonal allergies, staying inside when the pollen count is high is probably the best idea. No need to wait on your local weather report for the info, though: There are several apps that can provide you with the local pollen count ASAP. 

The WebMD Allergy app, for example, gives you the pollen count of various different allergens. You can also log your symptoms to zero in on exactly what triggers your allergies and set alert notifications for high-pollen days. It also offers in-depth information about allergens.

Another great alternative is the Allergy Alert app. This has a lot of the same features, but it works with Ford Sync, so you can use it while driving. Both apps are available for iPhone and Android.

You can also leverage your phone's weather app to check air quality in your area. If air quality isn't great, consider using a face mask when going outdoors.

Downloading an app that tracks pollen can help you anticipate when the air quality can compromise your health, so you know when you might need take your allergy medication.

Change your HVAC filters

One of your best defenses against seasonal allergens inside of your home is your HVAC filter. These filters come with a rating system called a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values scale. The MERV scale rates the efficiency of the filter on a scale of 1 to 20. The higher the number, the better the filter works, meaning cleaner air for you.

Read more: Best HVAC Filters

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Though the filters on the higher end of the scale are a little pricier, they will make your sinuses much happier because they filter smaller particles in the air. To save money, look for filters that can be washed when they get dirty, like the lines made by Filtrete. Be sure the filter has antimicrobial properties to inhibit bacterial growth after you wash them for added protection. These filters can last six to eight years. Some even have lifetime warranties, so think of the expense as an investment.

If you opt for a disposable filter, be sure to change it monthly if you live in an area that is particularly dusty, like rural areas. Everyone else should be safe changing their filter every three months.

Clean your mattress

According to the American Council on Science and Health, your mattress may have 10 million dust mites on it. Once you get over the eww factor, just think about what those little buggers are doing to your allergies. Stop. Don't burn your mattress. All it needs is a good clean.

Every six months, strip your bed and vacuum it using an upholstery attachment. While your regular vacuum will do a good job, if you really want to get your mattress extra clean, you can invest in handheld vacuums specifically for mattresses. The Jimmy Bed Vacuum Cleaner is a great choice.

Read more: Best Hypoallergenic Mattress

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.