AchooAllergy.com Blog
Posted by kevvyg on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Since 2012, Vogmasks have offered a more stylish, comfortable way to block allergens, dust and air pollution. The original mask, the Classic Microfiber Vogmask, is lightweight, offers three layer filtration and comes in a variety of colors. After just a few short years, these masks have not only gained a great deal of popularity and improved, but we are now happy to introduce you to some of the new members of the Vogmask lineup!

N99 VogmaskIn addition to the Classic Vogmasks, there are now CV N99 masks. Originally, each Vogmask offered roughly N95 filtration (95% filtration of particles), but the drawback was the "roughly" part. Since then, the design of the mask has been improved, so much so that this latest version of the Vogmask has been tested to offer N99 filtration (99% filtration of particles). This is as close to a HEPA mask as you can get, without actually having a HEPA mask. In addition to the N99 filtration, the new CV Vogmasks have 4-ply filtration, with one of those being a thin layer of active carbon. So in addition to better particle filtration, the N99 CV can also tackle nuisance levels odors, fragrance and smoke. To make breathing easier each also comes with an exhale valve built into the right side. This keeps exhaled air, moisture and warmth moving out of the mask and away from your face.

New Allergy Mask - Vogmask MondrianSimilar to the Classic Vogmask, you will also find a new Microfiber version. Nearly identical to the Classic in every way, the significant difference is that the new Microfiber, like the CV, offers N99 filtration. Lastly, there is the Organic Cotton Vogmask. With tightly woven, certified organic cotton, this mask offers the lowest level of particle filtration but is well suited for someone looking for a more natural face mask without plastics or other materials that can cause reactions for those with MCS.

Each mask is hand washable, lightweight, reusable and latex-free. Unlike other allergy masks, the range of styles and patterns gives you the ability to choose the mask that not only meets your filtration needs but provides the style and look you want. So if Spring allergy season is getting you down, an effective Vogmask might be just what you need!

To compare Vogmask features.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Friday, April 18, 2014
Vornado AC500 HEPA Air PurifierI wanted to take a minute to wish everyone safe travels this holiday weekend. The roads can be extra busy during holiday weekends, so take your time and slow down! Now if I could only follow my own advice..... Then again, Atlanta traffic does a pretty good job of keeping me moving so slowly that both the tortoise AND the hare typically pass me on the way to work.

I also wanted to throw out a quick reminder, there is LESS than a day remaining to get entered to win a FREE Vornado AC500 HEPA Air Purifier! Start the weekend off right and get entered to win. Best of all, it's free to enter, and you can quickly submit multiple entries in a matter of seconds! Check out this blog post for some helpful tips on controlling pollen and spring allergies and learn how you can enter to win!

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by R. Power on Friday, April 18, 2014
Oralair - Oral SLIT Treatment for Grass Allergies Approved by FDACommon Allergic Grasses - Timothy, Orchard Grass, Sweet VernalThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the thumbs up for Oralair (Stallergenes, Inc.) to be on the market as the US’s first sublingual immunotherapy (aka, SLIT) to treat allergies to multiple grass pollens. More importantly, this is the first SLIT treatment available as a pill. Traditional SLIT treatment involves a series of injections.

Treatment is suitable for the age range of 10-65 years, and to those who are diagnosed with grass pollen-induced allergic rhinitis (with or without conjunctivitis). Patients must have positive skin test or in vitro testing for any of the five grass species: sweet vernal, orchard, perennial rye, timothy and Kentucky blue grass (I thought this last one was a joke because I love blue grass music).

Last December the Allergenic Products Advisory Committee gave a unanimous vote to recommend Oralair as the first SLIT for the United States. Sublingual immunotherapy has been a common allergy medication throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Twenty years of research has shown SLIT to be safe and effective as an allergy medication. While in testing, the most common treatment emergent adverse events (TEATs) in adults and children were throat irritation and oral pruritus (itching).

My fingers are crossed for this treatment to be effective and to help secure a path into finding more natural treatments for allergies and other ailments.

Author: R. Power

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, April 14, 2014
It’s been a beautiful transition this year from a cold winter to a blooming spring. For some, it’s exciting and relieving to ditch the scarves and coats and make room for sunglasses and sandals. For others it’s a forecast of congestion, runny noses and sneezing.

AllergyCapitals.com lists the worst cities in the US for allergies based on the pollen counts, number of OTC/prescription medications per patient, and number of board-certified allergists per patient. The most current list below:
  1. Louisville, KY
  2. Flowering Dogwoods - NOT On The List, But Hey, They're Easy On The Eyes!Memphis, TN
  3. Baton Rouge, LA
  4. Oklahoma City, OK
  5. Jackson, MS
  6. Chattanooga, TN
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. Richmond, VA
  9. Birmingham, AL
  10. McAllen, TX
Don't see your city on this list? Don't worry, the culprits behind early spring allergies are often trees. Here's the list of the "usual suspects" for this time of year.
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Box elder
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Mulberry
  • Oak
  • Pecan
  • Willow
While you can’t stay indoors all season long, taking preventative steps such as avoiding outdoor activities on high pollen days and purchasing OTC medicines can subdue allergic reactions. If yard work must be done, invest in a mask that filters particles such as tree and weed pollen, dust, grass pollen and pet dander. Similar to what a neti pot does, taking showers can help decongest your sinuses while washing away pollen and other allergens that have cling on. If you don’t have time to shower, then a change of clothes will do.
Try to protect yourself, but enjoy this spring’s blooms while you can!

Author: R. Power

100,000 Tulips - Now in Bloom at Cheekwood Botanical Garden - Nashville, TN



Posted by kevvyg on Friday, April 11, 2014
Not Dust. Not Bird Doo-Doo.  Pollen!Spring allergy season is fully upon us in many parts of the country. Locally, Atlanta has seen an average pollen count of 2,624 for each of the last nine days! As usual tree pollen is the primary culprit early in the season. If the iPhone was just a little better, I could have shared an image of a literal cloud of pollen blowing off the pines this weekend! So with all this going on what can you do? Sitting indoors during this beautiful part of the year, though not attractive, is an option. Medication is readily available, but many people don't like dealing with the side effects. Here are three simple products and tasks to help keep allergies under better control during this difficult time of the year.

First and foremost, you should try to limit your exposure. For many outdoor tasks this can mean squeezing them into different parts of the day when pollen levels and air quality is better. Typically, mornings are good since dew can help to keep pollen from becoming airborne, winds are generally lighter, and overall air quality is at its best. However, if you're outdoors, remember a few things. A quality allergy mask can be handy to have. Most are lightweight; many are washable; and all can help to prevent you from breathing in pollen while you're outdoors. When outdoors, wear something that you plan on taking off or changing when you go indoors. This means that when you're done, remove your shoes, jacket, hat, etc. at the door and set them aside. Just because there is pollen outside doesn't mean you should have to deal with it indoors as well. Once inside, wash up! If you're doing a more strenuous outdoor activity, you may not want to wear a mask, but if this is the case, flush your sinuses when you’re finished. This can rinse away any allergens trapped in your nose or nasal passages and remove the source of the irritation.

Two Free Boxes of Filterbags with Each Miele Marin VacuumMoving indoors, remember to vacuum! Just one walk to the mailbox outside is enough for me to leave greenish-yellow tracks on the rug at my front door. Vacuuming and dusting with sealed system, HEPA vacuum cleaner can keep spring pollen from started at your front door and being dispersed throughout your home. If you were considering a Miele HEPA vacuum, now might be a good time to choose one. In addition to Free Express Delivery (all but one model delivers in 1 or 2 business days), when you buy now you can get a year's worth of vacuum bags for free! The Miele filterbag trap all visible particles and features 9-ply filtration to remove large allergens while the certified HEPA filter removes all of the rest from not only your floors but also the air in your home.

Lastly, using a HEPA air purifier in your bedroom and can make all the difference in how well you sleep. We have long been proponents of creating a space in your home that is allergy friendly, and since most people spend more time in the bedroom than any other room, it is the best place to start! A high quality air purifier can filter out and trap common allergens like dust mites, dander, dust, and yes, pollen. Generally, it is best to set the air purifier on a low or medium setting and let it quietly do its work through the day and night.

Vornado AC500 HEPA Air PurifierWhile these things cannot cure your allergies, combined, they can go a very long ways toward reducing your exposure and limiting symptoms during this trying part of the year. To help you feel better and breathe easier, not only are we offering the free filterbags with each Miele vacuum, but we're also going to give away a Vornado HEPA Air Purifier! Sleek and powerful, the AC500 uses two HEPA filters and two activated carbon prefilters to remove large visible particles as well as pollen, dust and common household allergens. With four fan speeds, digital controls, replacement indicators and a five year warranty, this HEPA air purifier is effective, simply to operate and bound to provide years of allergy relief.

Using Rafflecopter, we're offering you several ways to enter, retweet, share on Facebook, etc. It's up to you how many chances you'd like to win, but sharing is caring! (And it's also a good way to increase your chances of winning!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway Author: KevvyG

Posted by kevvyg on Monday, April 07, 2014
Two Free Boxes of Filter Bags with the Purchase of Every Miele Vacuum CleanerMiele vacuum cleaners have long been known for a few things. They offer exceptional cleaning performance, powerful suction, unmatched filtration, and are built to last 20 years. Unlike other brands, they're also notorious for not discounting their line of luxury HEPA vacuum cleaners, but every now and again, we can sweeten the deal. For a limited time, receive Two Free Boxes of Filter Bags with the purchase of any Miele Premium Vacuum Cleaner.

For nearly 100 years Miele has been designing and building quality vacuum cleaners. Here at AchooAllergy, Miele has been a brand of vacuum cleaner that we highly recommend. Their emphasis on air filtration, keeping your indoor air clean while you vacuum, is critical for people concerned with allergies, asthma or indoor air quality in general. Traditional vacuum cleaners can remove visible dirt but can release millions of particles back into the air. They can literally take allergens and particulate that had previously settled out of the air and onto the floor and disperse them back into the air you breathe. Unfortunately, even HEPA vacuum cleaners can be guilty of this.

Miele Swing Premium Upright Vacuum Cleaner Miele takes air quality a step further. Not only do they independently test their products, but with a HEPA filter, they include the use of a 9-ply filter bag, a pre-motor, and a sealed system (on most vacs) to not only completely clean the air as it passes through the vacuum but ensure that dirty and clean air do not mix or leak. Sealed system Miele vacuums, equipped with their H13 HEPA remove allergens like mold spores, dander, dust mite allergen and dust from the floor and from the air you breathe - the perfect allergy vacuum.

This is all in addition to Miele's superior cleaning ability, high quality and unparalleled durability. The Vortex motor creates powerful, concentrated suction to remove not only the dirt, hair and soil you can see but also capture the microparticles that you can't. A range of included accessories (even more than usual if you are considering their HomeCare line) and attachments make Miele vacuums Miele Marin S8 Canister Vacuum Cleanersome of the most versatile cleaning machines you can own. In addition to all of this is the knowledge that Miele's are built to last twenty years!

So if you were considering purchasing one of the most advanced, durable and effective vacuum cleaners on the market, now is the time to buy. In addition to free express delivery (next day or two day delivery of nearly all Miele vacs) you will also receive TWO FREE BOXES of FILTERBAGS. That's a year's worth of bags, nearly a $40 value, free!

Author: Kevin Gilmore

Posted by R. Power on Friday, April 04, 2014

When Traveling Keep in Mind Your NeedsI am headed off to enjoy the sunshine, beach and rainforests of Costa Rica! We will be traveling to the Guanacaste region where it will be dry with little rain during this time of year. This is also means I will be packing and planning for this five day trip abroad. If you deal with allergies, asthma, sensitive skin or any health condition really, you should always make sure to pack what you will need. You cannot always rely on certain things being available at your destination. Aside from givens like medication, specialized items you use or things you just can't travel without (favorite pillow), here are a few things I will be bringing:

Organic Cotton Twin Blanket

This will help me snooze through the four hour flight down to Costa Rica. It’ll keep me warmer than the blankets they supply on airplanes. Plus, it will be nice to use my own organic blanket rather than a blanket that’s been kept in a plastic bag for who knows how long. Call me a germaphobe, but just how many people use an airline blanket before it is replaced?

Silk Comfort Mask

Sometimes the air in airplanes dries out my nose and throat, making for an uncomfortable flight. I’m going to bring along a Silk comfort mask to make breathing a little easier and have a barrier between me and the air conditioning on the plane.

Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 35 Sport

This is ideal for all of the water activities we have planned for our trip, and can be used on both face and body. Don't Forget the Sunscreen!This sunscreen is water resistant, so I don't have to reapply it every time I get in the ocean. With non-toxic ingredients ideal for those with fair or sensitive skin, I will feel relieved to know that I’m not contaminating water and marine life with PABA (once a common ingredient in sunscreen, now known for its "carcinogenic potential" as Environmental Working Group defines it), preservatives, benzophenones, dyes, fragrance or formaldehyde releasers.

Allergy Armor Pillow Covers

These are perfect travel components for my dust mite allergies and a range of other allergies (pollen, mold, or pet dander). They fold up neatly, take up almost no space, are easy to pack and can be used on any pillow, available in all common sizes. I have two of these with me for this trip, so no matter how old the pillows I'll be sleeping on are, with these I've one less thing to worry about!

Hopefully I’ll have some stories and a tan when I get back!

Author: R. Power



Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, April 03, 2014
Respro Allergy Mask - Royal BlueToday at lunch, I again noticed a nice yellow-green dust on my truck. So, with spring pollen season gearing up, we're proud to give you a choice Respro Allergy Masks. It now comes in Royal Blue!

The Respro Allergy Mask has long been a popular choice for anyone dealing with allergies, asthma, COPD, MCS or simply wanting to keep dust and other particulate out of the air they breathe. With a soft, flexible mesh shell and exhale valves, the Allergy Mask is breathable and lightweight. It seals well around the face and allow heat and moisture to escape via two exhale valves.

The Allergy Mask comes standard with a particle filter that offers N95 equivalent filtration of particles like pollen, mold spores, dirt, dust, and dander, and will filter particles less than 1 micron in size and larger. Add the optional chemical/particle filters, which have activated charcoal embedded in them, and broaden your filtration to include smoke, odors, chemical vapors, exhaust, fragrance and perfumes.

Block Spring PollenRespro Allergy masks are now available in two colors and three sizes, with most adults finding the best with Medium or Large masks. The Small size is best suited for children. The Royal Blue mask has a soft, flexible nose piece while the White uses the standard, soft alloy nosepiece that can be shaped and formed. Each filter provides about 50-60 hours of use, and the valves can be removed and rinsed or replaced. The mesh shell can be hand washed, and finally, all Respro masks are latex free.

Whether your gardening or mowing the yard, working outdoors or simply trying to avoid tobacco smoke and perfumes, the Respro Allergy mask is one of the most popular ways to accomplish this. When you're done, it can be folded small enough to easily fit in a purse or even your pocket!

To Shop all Allergy Masks or to Compare and Contrast All Masks.

Author: K. Gilmore

Posted by R. Power on Monday, March 31, 2014
One of our favorite companies, Ogallala Comfort Company, is in the midst of a makeover! Ogallala will be changing their fill for their hypodown bedding. Currently they have a blend of 80% goose down and 20% Syriaca used in their mattress pads, pillows and comforters. With an increase in availability of Syriaca, the silky milkweed seed parachutes, the blend will now become 70% goose down and 30% Syriaca. This makeover also includes an addition of bedding products made with high quality white duck down. All of these changes will ultimately bring down the prices for consumers.

If you looked at prices around the turn of the year, you might have noticed a HUGE price increase! Trust us, we were just as upset over that as you were. With the price of down dramatically increasing, they adjusted their prices up to compensate. Needless to say, people weren't very happy about this, so from the pricing you would have seen around New Year's there has been about a 40% reduction.

Ogallala Pearl Crescent Down ComforterOgallala has been a mainstay at AchooAllergy for over a decade. As the highest quality, luxury bedding available, Ogallala offers custom bedding options that are nearly unmatched. For people dealing with allergies or asthma, their blend of Syriaca and pure goose down (no feathers), has allowed them to offer and stand by a very attractive guarantee. For ten years, your Ogallala bedding will NOT cause an allergic reaction. Reactions to bird feathers is a very common one, and low quality down can often cause sneezing, congestion, or coughing and wheezing in asthmatics, but not Ogallala's Hypodown.

Prices across our Ogallala bedding offering have been adjusted, so if high prices a few months ago scared you away, it is probably worth taking a second look now!

To see the full line of Ogallala Luxury Down Bedding.

Author: R. Power

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Despite the wind and snow that has continually harassed much of the country this winter, for many areas of the country, spring is here! Personally, every year I definitively mark the start of spring here in Atlanta, and that day was yesterday. How can I predict this better than any meteorologist on the planet you ask? It's easy! I own a black truck, so the first time I see tiny specks of yellow/green dust on it, I know spring has arrived.

Though, I suppose if you want to get technical about it, Atlanta Allergy & Asthma posts daily pollen counts, and we've already seen a few days over 900. For nearly two weeks straight in April of 2013, pollen counts stayed 1600. Yellow tree pollen was everywhere, on vehicles, clothing, even my dog! So, 900 is pretty bad for those allergic to tree pollens, but not quite as severe as April of last year, yet....

If I buy into the hype, I would say, this spring pollen season will be the worst pollen season ever! Don't Be Caught Unprepared, Otherwise You End Up Using A Spatula As An Ice Scraper And Relying On A Gift of Rock Salt to Pull You ThroughWhile some entities (*cough! the Weather Channel *cough!) seem certain we're in for the worst allergy season on record, this same entity also warns us pretty regularly during the winter that any inch of snow is probably the worst inch of snow ever! Then again.... they were kinda right about that whole ice storm thing in February. Yes, that one, the one that had me sacking out on the couch at work because stranded motorists had the streets so clogged that even after six hours of trying tens of roads and one trip to the Scottish Rite Children's Hospital (a stranded family needed a lift), I simply could not get past all of the stuck vehicles. Then there was a 2011 study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that confirmed what anecdotal evidence has been pointing to for some time now - for parts of North America, ragweed season is lasting longer and ending up to a month later. Frankly, I'm not sure which is more troubling, a longer allergy season or the Weather Channel being right!

All kidding aside, Spring 2014 is shaping up to pretty miserable for a lot of people coping with allergies. High precipitation during the winter has primed much of the country for pollen to literally "pop" in the next couple weeks. Much like a party popper, many people are likely high pollen counts. In my case, the city will begin to look like a giant pollen-filled Respro Allergy Mask - Whitepiñata just exploded above the city of Atlanta and is raining down yellow-green sneezy-treats.

In preparation for this, we've seen a fairly steady stream of visitors to the store, and most of them are looking for the same three items - Allergy Masks, window filters, and HEPA air purifiers. These three items can make a big difference in how spring allergies affect you, and all three have one thing in common - they filter the air you breathe. Masks are popular, especially if you have a yard or garden to tend to. Even something as simple as walking your dog this time of year can bring misery if you have allergies, but a minimum of an N95 rated or equivalent mask can block pollen, dust and other spring allergens.

Window filters are also very popular. After being cooped up for a winter like the one most of us have just struggled through, it is hard to resist the temptation to open the windows and let a warm spring breeze in. Unfortunately that spring breeze can also carry a great deal of tree, grass and weed pollen. Window filters block the majority of this pollen, and while they do cut down on some airflow, they allow many to open the windows with less worry. No Soliciting.... or Pollen!When you've tried your best to keep the pollen out, but like a persistent door-to-door encyclopedia salesman it keeps finding its way into your home, a HEPA air purifier can keep parts of your home free of pollen and allergens. Generally, it is best to place it in the bedroom and keep the door closed. Most people spend the majority of all the time they are in their homes, in the bedroom sleeping, so it is ideal to make at least this space clean and free of allergens.

Short of moving to the Arctic circle, spring pollen season can affect you in any region of the country. So now is the time to start preparing for what probably be better than the last few months of the snow and ice, but... not by a lot.

What can I say? I've got a lot of spring cheer!

Author: Kevin Gilmore

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