AchooAllergy.com Blog
Posted by kevvyg on Monday, October 20, 2014
Oskar Cool Mist Humidifiers Now in ColorSo maybe they're not quite as colorful as technicolor, but you do now have a wider selection when it comes to choosing the Oskar top-fill humidifier that is right for your home.

Last season, the Oskar humidifiers quickly took their place as some of the most popular humidifiers we offer. From a unique modern design and quiet operation to an easy, top-fill feature and the ability to use nearly any type of water, it's fairly easy to see why the Oskars have been a strong choice amongst those looking to restore moisture and comfort to their homes during the cooler, drier fall and winter months.

Initially, the Oskar was available in white or black with the Oskar Big only being available in black. In addition to those colors, the smaller Oskar (the Economist) is available in Berry and Metal, while the Oskar Big now also comes in white. If you want to learn more about the Oskar Humidifier by Stadler Form for to see the Oskar humidifier in action.

Author: KevvyG

Posted by R. Power on Saturday, October 18, 2014
Allerdent by Allovent ­ImmunotherapyWhile immunotherapy is the most effective method for allergy management, it's more difficult to make it as much of a habit as say, brushing your teeth.... until now? You soon may be able to do just that immunotherapy WHILE brushing your teeth! Allergy patients at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City are currently brushing with Allerdent, a specially formulated immunotherapy toothpaste delevoped by Dr. William Reisacher and Allovate, LLC. Allovate, LLC. is a start up pharmaceutical company, specializing in innovative and improved approaches to allergy immunotherapy. Using Allerdent as their product platform this could be the next big thing to replace our traditional immunotherapy treatments that are currently in use.

Brushing Your Way to Allergy Relief"If you can contact those extracts with the lining of the mouth then you can desensitize patients to those allergens and essentially cure them of their allergies" explains Dr. Reisacher. Allerdent will be customized to each person's needs, containing the specific allergen(s) that the patient is allergic to. Dereck Lacarubba is a patient who currently participates in this Allerdent experiment, and is allergic to cats, dogs, tree pollen and dust. He claims that it works and tastes just like regular fluoride toothpaste. Further, he says it's been helping him with his environmental allergies day after day.

The current options for allergy immunotherapy (IT) are Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT), better known as allergy shots, or daily Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment (SLIT), drops under the tongue. However, there are many obstacles that contribute to less than 5% of allergy rhinitis patients actually receiving either of these types of immunotherapy.

Allergy shots are costly, time consuming, weekly visits for three to five years (and we know how long doctor visits take), and the presence of needles is a problem some, both adults and children alike. SLIT drops are to be taken everyday, and placed under you tongue for two minutes. Like birth control or acid reflux medicine, you can't skip a day or else it will not be as effective as it should be. For many, this stringent routine is difficult to maintain. SLIT is also a method that is currently NOT endorsed by the FDA. That lack of endorsement adds some measure of skepticism to this method allergy immunotherapy.

One Habit, Two Positive Benefits?Allerdent is a very innovative yet simple idea, that takes your existing routine, brushing your teeth, and adds in the practice of receiving immunotherapy. This simple yet novel approach is what makes Allerdent so promising. I would love to kill two birds with one stone, keeping my oral hygiene up while having the ability to snuggle up to a cat without the tidal wave of congestion and itchy, watery eyes that currently accompanies it. I'm sure others are also excited to cross off biweekly doctor's visits from their agendas or cease taking medications that aren't currently FDA approved. Either way, novel approaches like this, regardless of outcome, present a new twist to traditional treatment and pavethe way for the better treatments of the future.

For more information about Allovate or Allerdent.

Author: R. Power

Posted by R. Power on Friday, October 17, 2014
After watching the second episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, Halloween Is the Perfect Time to Discuss How Clowns Creep Many of Us Out!I found a study in this month's Allergy Journal about using "medical clowns" to help entertain and distract children while receiving skin prick tests (SPT) and allergy shots. With Halloween nearly upon us, this blog could not have provided a more opportune time to discuss the fear that clowns instill into both children and adults. Before I get to this though, let's take a look at the study.

Medical Clowns for Allergies - He Seems Like a Happy-Go-Lucky Chap!The Sackler School of Medicine of Tel-Aviv University and the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Unit, Meir Hospital, Kfar-Saba used medical clowns to accompany children during various tests and medical procedures. Researchers concluded in the abstract of their research that "Medical Clowns significantly decrease the level of anxiety perceived by both children undergoing SPT and their parents, as well as pain perceived by young children (Goldberg et al., 2014)".

I'm not sure what kind of clowns they have in Israel, but when I think about clowns, I don't visualize clowns to have a calming presence in any medical situation! Have you been watching American Horror Story?? If you haven't, the scariest character on the show is Twisty the Clown who debuted as a serial killer. Probably NOT the Clown You Want to See for Your Child's Doctor VisitEven prior to Twisty, who wasn't creeped-out by Pennywise the Dancing Clown from Stephen King's IT or Captain Spaulding from the Rob Zombie movies? That's just to name a few.

Even Ronald McDonald and birthday party clowns have been making children and adults uncomfortable for quite some time now. Clowns have enjoyed a long history in this country, but the perception of clowns has dramatically changed for significant portion of the American public. In fact, 20-30% of the US population are fairly uncomfortable with clowns, and ≈2% of the adult population have coulrophobia (fear of clowns).

Yup, Seems Like Nightmare Material to Me!Veteran psychologist, Dr. Brenda Wiederhold who runs a phobia anxiety treatment center in San Diego, CA, explains that coulrophobia starts in early childhood as a pediatric phobia of costumed characters (clowns, the Easter Bunny, etc.) but most people grow out of this fear as they begin to develop the ability to separate fantasy from reality. But even as adults, many are often unsettled by the presence of clowns, particularly from the inability to read genuine emotion and facial expressions that are concealed by face-paint. Of course, Hollywood and media also bear some responsibility for shaping the perception of clowns today, which tend to be manic, a tad bit demonic and unpredictable. That's putting it kindly in many cases.

Not the Clown President, But He Gives Clowns a Good NameCurrently the President of Clowns of America International (Oh dear Lord, they're organized!), Glenn Kohlberg, has expressed his disapproval for American Horror Story's Twisty the Clown character. He does not have a high opinion of Hollywood profiting from the "sensationalism of evil clowns," as stated in The Hollywood Reporter.

Hopefully medical clowns can help rehabilitate the image of clowns, bringing back their original roles as "ambassadors of joy", and weaning the public eye away from their reputation as a character that keeps some of us awake at night. How about you? Are clowns creepy or fun? Would you welcome a clown as a distraction while your child was being administered a skin prick test or allergy shots? Or are you just as disturbed as I am that clowns have an international organization?

For an overview of the medical clown study.

Author: R. Power

Posted by kevvyg on Thursday, October 16, 2014
Halloween is Coming!While the leaves have yet to turn here in Atlanta, it is certainly feeling like fall. Mornings in the 50's, cool breezes at night, and longer stretches with nothing but cool, dry air are all good indicators that summer is officially in the books (not to mention the Halloween decorations popping up). Not only can you expect trick-or-treaters to be show up on your doorstep in the hopes of making the local dentist a very happy man, but all this cooler, dry weather can bring out more than a few ghosts and goblins. Even though a Pure Guardian humidifier doesn't come with candy to appease your guests to be, it can deliver moisture back to your indoor air and restore a measure of comfort to your home.

This season, Pure Guardian has a couple new humidifier to help combat dry indoor air and restore humidity levels to healthier, more comfortable levels. The first of these is the Pure Guardian H4610 dual mist humidifier. As an ultrasonic humidifier the H4610 operates in near silence and features a large, two gallon capacity tank. For you this means fewer trips to the faucet since this model can run for up to 120 hours between refills. New Pure Guardian H4610 HumidifierSecond, for light sleepers, there's less chance of being kept awake by this appliance running. A nightlight, timer, and auto shutoff round out some of the features of this large room humidifier.

If you're looking for something a little smaller, the Pure Guardian H1510 ultrasonic humidifier might be a good fit. This model is more simplistic in design, but also comes with a lower price point to match. With easy-to-use manual dial controls, this no frills humidifier offers pre-warmed or cool mist humidification for small and medium size bedrooms. Like the larger H4610 it is quiet and requires very little maintenance, and does have a small nightlight that illuminates the blue water tank.

Both of these humidifiers have pretty reasonable price tags, and like all Pure Guardian humidifiers, there are no standard replacement parts. If you have hard water, you can opt for a demineralization cartridge, but because their Silver Clean Technology is embedded into the water tank itself, there are no hygiene accessories to replace. Plus, each comes standard with a three year warranty.

You can see the full line of Pure Guardian ultrasonic humidifiers or if you just want to enter into a drawing for a FREE Achoo! Allergy t-shirt, visit the AchooAllergy.com Facebook page, like, and post your Halloween picture.

Author: Kevin Gilmore

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I've avoided writing about this topic for about as long as possible, but with my entire family being in Ohio, two nurses in the family, and the recent revelation about a second Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola a day after visiting family in Akron, OH, it seems like a good time to finally broach the topic. This isn't to say we've not had our share of call from people concerned with Ebola, because as the days have ticked by the frequency of calls has steadily climbed. So I wanted to go over a few things about Ebola, how it spreads, and touch on some things in terms of prevention. And keep in mind, while the first part of this is rather serious (and should be), there is some levity at the end.

Halloween is Almost Here, but This Is NOT Gummy Worms - The Ebola Virus Under a MicroscopeFirst, though cases have been numbered in the single digits here in the U.S., Ebola has affected the African continent for the better part of four decades. Though known for that long, what this latest outbreak has shown us is that the American public knew little of the disease and that while infections can spread quickly in an increasingly interconnected world, panic and fear always spread faster.

Ebola is a virus that first made itself in 1976, and as of now, unless you're one of the tiny percent of East Africans who are naturally immune or have had and survived the disease, there is no known immunity or vaccine.

Just as a disclaimer, this description can be a bit intense for some readers. The Ebola virus attaches itself to cells, then once inside the cell replicates and causes the cell to burst, destroying the cell and spreading further. This bursting of cells is what triggers your body's inflammatory reaction - the flu-like symptoms of a fever, vomiting, severe headache, and weakness. The virus then attacks the immune system and uses it spread throughout the body. Ebola attacks all organs and disrupts the natural blood clotting process, causing what appears to be a rash under the skin and other internal bleeding. This is also where the name "hemorrhagic fever" comes from. The destruction of cells and organs (organ failure) coupled with bleeding internally and externally is what causes the high mortality rates (nearly 60%) that we see with the Ebola virus.

So how does Ebola spread? It is EXTREMELY important to remember that though deadly, Ebola can only be spread by coming in contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is infected or items that have been contaminated by these things. It is NOT spread through the air. It is NOT spread through water. Symptoms can occur any time within twenty-one days of infection, but up until someone exhibits symptoms, they are not contagious.

Not to make light of the situation, but before fear completely takes hold, it's a good idea to ask a couple questions. Have I been around someone who has Ebola? Have I been in contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has Ebola? If I answer "no" to these questions, then good news, I'm very likely ok! Yes, that's simplistic, but when you consider that this virus ONLY spreads by coming in contact with these things, you can see why it's a good idea to ask these questions before becoming overly fearful. As of this moment in time, you're more likely to be bitten by Luis Suarez (soccer player from World Cup) than to contract Ebola.

Still, with sensationalized coverage on every cable news channel, it's not difficult to get swept up into the fear of "what do I do?!" And it's at this time, that it is good to remember the basics, some of the very same things that are recommended to help prevent the spread of other viruses.Combatting Ebola - Overkill For Most of Us
  • Wash your hands. Scrubby, scrubby! Thoroughly washing your hands is the most basic and easiest way to prevent the spread of any virus. Remember, hot water, and you don't have to do this aloud, but sing through "Happy Birthday" twice, and you've likely got them good and clean.
  • Use hand sanitizer. Avoid ones with triclosan if possible and instead opt for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stop touching your face. At the very least, pay more attention to how often you do this. The average person touches his/her face 3-4 times per hour. Assuming you sleep eight hours, that's 50-60 times a day! Viruses enter the body, most often, through the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose and mouth or through broken skin.
There are additional things you can do, but the three listed above are the most basic and most helpful. Face masks are an option, but since the virus isn't airborne, wearing a mask most likely helps you by preventing you from touching your face. For healthcare professionals dealing with someone who is actually infected with Ebola, a HEPA respirator is a critical piece of personal protective gear, but for most of us however, an N95 (or better rated) mask will be very helpful in preventing the spread of the flu or Enterovirus D68.

Sign in Africa Telling You Handshakes Are Out But 'A Node' Is OK!You can also cut back on the handshakes. Seriously, limiting personal contact can be helpful in preventing the spread of any virus, but again, if the other person doesn't have the flu, Ebola or some other virus, or if you're not currently living in East Africa, this may be helpful but not terribly so.

Would an air purifier help? For Ebola, no. Again, it's NOT airborne. However, an air purifier equipped with UV or with antimicrobial filters WILL help with the flu and other airborne, seasonal viruses. Cleaning more is also good general advice. Disinfectants, when used properly, can kill microbes and germs that spread viruses. Lastly, avoid contact with bats. Bat soup should be off the table this Halloween.*

Is Ebola scary? Yes. Is it easy to catch? Unless you work in a profession where you are likely to come in contact with it, no. Common sense can be a very good friend when it comes to things like this, while fear and panic can spread faster and farther than any virus.

My mother is a nurse, but where she works, she is highly unlikely to come in contact with anyone remotely affected, so honestly, I worry more about her catching the flu repeatedly. My family all lives in Ohio, but again, the likelihood of any of them coming in contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has the virus is remote. A family member of mine will be flying in the coming weeks, and for her I've a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a mask - the exact same things I used when I flew this past spring, when Ebola was but a passing story on a far away continent.

*Seriously, "avoid contact with bats... and raw meat prepared from these animals" is stated on the CDC site.

For more information, visit the CDCs Ebola site or for more information on this current outbreak, I’ve found this site to give a well-rounded view of the topic.

Author:
K. Gilmore

How the Ebola Virus is NOT Spread

Tags: Masks
Posted by R. Power on Friday, October 10, 2014
Silk Swan Beauty Products for Sensitive SkinI interviewed Lanna Potter, creator and owner of SilkSwan.com. She has developed natural beauty products made with silk proteins and essential oils (EOs) for individuals with sensitive skin, chemical sensitivities, and those who simply want beauty products with more natural ingredients. She brought along a variety of her products for me to sample while we discussed the benefits of natural beauty products, silk proteins, and how/why she created SilkSwan.com.

What inspired you to create these beauty products?

Well, I originally came from China, and I grew up in Asia. I've always been into traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and Asian beauty products. Silk has been around for a long time and is very popular in Asian cosmetics, but it's not very popular in the West, not in the US or even Europe. My understanding is that, silk is a rare material; It's never going to be mass produced and the environment here is not suitable for growing mulberry trees (silk worms only food source) in large quantities. It's one of those rarities in the world, and it gets expensive so not a lot of companies can afford to put silk in their products. But, the beauty benefit of silk has been known for centuries in Asia and Asian women are very into natural skin care. Silk protein is used a lot in skin care and hair care for their beauty benefits. Number one, its a natural protein, a lot like the natural protein that's in our hair and skin so it's very easily absorbed. Because the molecules are tiny, they penetrate your skin and go under the surface creating a barrier to help prevent water loss. Silk protein has excellent moisturizing abilities that draw in 10,000 times its own weight in moisture from the air to keep your skin nice and soft.

How long did it take for you to create your products?

Silk Swan Skin Care Products for Sensitive SkinI started research specifically for this line about two years ago. So, it took me about two years to formulate the products, the texture and the natural scent. I don’t use any artificial perfumes or color. Everything is scented with essential oils or simply unscented. I officially launched the product line in June of 2014 but I did a lot work prior to that, including sourcing the material and finding a company that can make it in the United States - everything is made here in the US.

You mentioned before in Eastern culture women tend to like more natural products, versus the West where we are more comfortable with natural and synthetic perfumes and chemicals. Do you see any other differences between these two groups?

Oh yes, many differences! From an aesthetic point of view, Asian women prefer skin that's more youthful: flawless skin without freckles, darkness, wrinkles. They tend to go the route to have a more translucent look, something that is more on the lighter side. Dark spots indicate sun damage, aging, accumulative effects by the sun. So when they consider youthful skin, they consider translucent, pearly looking skin with no spots. In the West however, a lot of people like to tan. They like a slightly darker look with a glow. So they go after that, meaning they may try to achieve that through natural light or artificial light which are damaging to the skin. So over a period of time they age faster and it's not until well into their 40s and 50s that you can see a lot of the damage on the surface of their skin. But that can be prevented; it just depends on the individual.
Silk Swan Essential OilsAnother thing is that in the East, people like to focus more on internal medicine for skin conditions. So from a very early age women start taking all kinds of tonics and maybe collagen, even in their early twenties, they start doing that very early on to prevent premature aging of the skin because of the view that your skin reflects your overall health. So they put a lot of energy into what they eat to be able to achieve the results that they want. But in the west, people tend to put more creams and medicated creams on their face when they have a problem. It's not so much about prevention, but a solution to a problem. When they do have a problem maybe acne, dark spots, or things that could be turning into cancer, they go immediately to the doctor and put creams on their face. This is a good idea when you have a problem, but those medicated creams also have side effects. They make you break out, they dry you out- they aren't really a beauty solution. Its just treating the symptom not the problem.

In an earlier conversation you told me that mineral oil isn't good for your skin because the molecules are too large and clog pores. Is silk protein a non comedogenic (non pore clogging) ingredient because it's a small molecule, compared to mineral oil?

It's small and purely natural. Mineral oil is not really natural. It comes from a petro-base chemical and because they are large they can clog your pores as adults and even kids. They are highly processed. The silk protein is 100% pure protein. It's often a powder when it comes in but it's water soluble. It's not going to clog the pores, or cause rashes like some chemicals, which your body doesn’t know how to process. For people who have very sensitive skin, even the slightest amount of fragrance, color, artificial synthetic fragrance can cause problems, but not with silk proteins.

Like many women, my mother uses cold creams, but that has mineral oil in it. Do you recommend an alternative to cold creams and mineral oils?

The Size of the Molecule MattersMy mom actually used to use that also, and it feels good but it does have a lot of artificial synthetic colors, which can really irritate skin. But then again, just like food, everybody has different levels of tolerance. Some people are very sensitive and some people have higher tolerances and have no problem that they can see right away. The more you can cut out the synthetic stuff, the better, because 80% of the chemicals or ingredients in skin care are absorbed into your blood stream. On a daily basis the average women in America has over 500 chemicals on her body. Starting from the shampoo and conditioner products and then go to personal care products - face wash, moisturizer, sunscreen; every single one of them probably has over 20 ingredients. Then you talk about makeup- foundation, bb cream, powder, so yes, over 500 chemicals on your body each day, all day long.

What is your favorite essential oil from your product line?

Oh there's so many! Lavender oil is my favorite, I've been using that every day, I just put it on my pulse point and smell it all day long, that's the easiest way to use it. That's my favorite for two major reasons. It is one of those oils you can use neat, meaning you don't have to dilute it to use it. Because a lot of these oils are highly concentrated, you have to dilute them before you use them otherwise you get a burn or skin damage. The second reason is that it's very good for the skin. It's called oil but it's very light and thin, and the consistency is like water. Spanish Lavender is one of my favorites because it's one of those oils that soothes and calms and make me feel good. Sometimes I use it before I go to bed, when I do yoga or do meditation, or whenever I want to relax. I have it in my silk lotions too. It helps with inflammation of the skin. So when you have rashes, breakouts, or little zits you can actually use it with witch hazel. You can use it on your face or where ever you have those problems. I use it for my homemade toner.

Do you think major brands carried in major department stores are somewhat complicated because they have both natural and synthetic ingredients in them?

I used to use some major brands myself, but I'm sensitive to synthetic perfume and it makes me breakout and rashes. Most major brands have synthetic perfumes and artificial colors, so I can't use them. It makes no sense to me to have them in cosmetics because all I want is something with no color, that's soothing to my skin. The price tag really means how much they spent on their marketing, not in the quality. Quality has nothing to do with how much they cost. If you flip over the bottle you'll often see "perfume" (or fragrance) in the ingredients. Perfume means synthetic, and by FDA rules, companies do not have to disclose the chemical composition of the perfume because its considered proprietary (meaning the company owns the exclusive rights to the ingredients and does not need to disclose details or chemical breakdown). But often, synthetic perfumes have over 300 different chemicals, and companies do not need to disclose that. Some of those chemicals in the perfumes and skin care are so harsh, its mind blowing! That's why people are breaking out into rashes, or experiencing premature aging and irritation on their skin and don't know why. In synthetic perfumes they create all of these different scents and inject stabilizers to keep the smell stable over time, and that's the major difference between natural scents and unnatural scents. Many of the EOs will evaporate quickly. As a perfume they won’t last very long. So that's why stabilizers are used in perfumes. But because they are so harsh, problems occur, like allergies, headaches, and more.

********************************************************************************

Founder of SilkSwan - Lanna PotterWe discussed more of her personal experience creating these lotions, creams and essential oils, and I was able to try a few of her favorites along with some new products that she just added this season. Her lotions are silky and very soft, and the essential oils she adds to the lotions and creams give a subtle and pleasant scent to her products. She graciously gave me some products to take home and try, and I too am in love with her lavender EO, as well as the Eucalyptus EO. I put a little bit of the Eucalyptus essential oil in a small glass in my shower making my morning showers more like a spa treatment.

I'm excited to try more Silk Swan products like their face lotions and shampoos and order some for Christmas this year (Shh, don't tell my mother). It was great to interview a business woman who makes her own natural beauty products, and to learn more about the importance of going more natural when it comes to skin health.

NOTE: Silk Swan products are formulated without the use of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, benzene, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil, triclosan or FD&C color.

For more information about preservatives in cosmetics

Author: R. Power

Posted by kevvyg on Friday, October 03, 2014
Shameless Plug - My God Daughter Looking Very Surprised... Perhaps Fall Snuck Up On Her? Nah!Summer seemed to go so fast this year, and with Halloween just around the corner, many of us are looking towards Halloween or wondering if the furnace needs to be checked before colder temperatures arrive. This time of year can be deceiving though, and with warm temperatures during the day, fall can sneak up on some of us. For me the signals that fall are here are twofold - the first morning I notice a chill in the air as I have my coffee on the patio and the first time I start to notice dry skin on my arms and elbow. Check and check! The latter is something that many of us will turn to a humidifier to help relieve. A home humidifier is a very simple and effective way to put moisture back into your indoor air, relieving the symptoms of dry indoor air. New for this year, Air-O-Swiss has rolled out a new model that features the highest output and largest capacity of any humidifier they offer.

The New Air-O-Swiss U700 Dual Mist HumidifierThe Air-O-Swiss U700 is an ultrasonic humidifier that offers both cool mist and prewarmed mist features, and if you are trying to restore comfort to a dry home, there are few better ways to go about it than with the U700. With a tank that holds a full two gallons of water, the U700 will run longer between refills than comparable models while putting more moisture back into the air. Over a full day, this home humidifier can put four gallons of moisture back into your indoor air, enough to handle very large spaces and some of the most severe dry conditions. Both of these figures, for tank capacity and output, surpass all other Air-O-Swiss humidifier models.

As a U series humidifier the AOS U700 has the soft-touch control panel and LCD screen that you may be accustomed to. While it's really simple to set your humidity, get a AOS U700 LCD Display & Advanced quick read of the current humidity level and adjust your output the control panel of the U700 offers several more features. It will remind you when to periodically clean the tank and allow you to set a timer. You can take advantage of the automatic feature and let the Intelligent Temperature Compensation (ITC) mode adjust humidity output based on changing temperatures in the space, keeping humidity optimal despite fluctuations. There is also a new self-cleaning feature. So, once you add EZCal, it will run through a descaling process for you. Lastly, the control panel has an auto-shutoff and auto dimming feature for night time use.

For light sleepers, the auto dimming display and extremely quiet operation of this humidity will allow you to sleep through the night, undisturbed, and when you wake in the morning, no sore throat, no dry cough, and no dry or cracked sinuses.

AIROSWISS U700 Streamlined Design & Dual HandlesThe AirOSwiss U700 humidifier offers a new look from other U series models. Like the others, it has a clean, white finish and smooth lines. Unlike the others, it has a collapsible handle on top that seats flush with the body, and definitely has an Apple-like look to it, with rounded corners and a transparent center. While filling you'll also notice that there's a second handle built into the bottom of the tank, so top of bottom, you always have a.... handle of the situation. (My terrible Friday pun of the day!)

Overall, I really liked this model. Fewer refills, excellent design, and it retains the hygienic features that have been staples with Air-O-Swiss humidifiers: Hydro Cell (with activated carbon), Demineralization Cartridge (with ionic silver in the housing), and Ultrasonic Technology. The warranty is a good three years, though if the U700 is like other AOS models, you can expect to get two to three times as many years of use.

To read more about, view more photos, or to Buy the Air-O-Swiss U700 humidifier or to view all home humidifiers.

Author: KevvyG

Posted by R. Power on Monday, September 29, 2014
National Coffee Day!Of course National Coffee Day should fall on a Monday! It's exactly what we need to start off October, fall, and to get ready for the cold days to follow. The origins of coffee can be found in the Ethiopian highlands, where legend tells of how a goat herder named Kaldi noticed his goats were more lively and peppy after eating berries from a certain tree which is now known as the coffee shrub. After this observation, Kaldi took the berries to a local monastery where an abbot made a drink with the berries and became alert and awake for many hours. Soon this discovery was shared with other monks, and now the coffee berry (not a bean as you may have thought) is an important part of our international trade and culture.

Although the only processes that we experience with coffee is the grinding and brewing of this commodity (sometimes roasting), the process of obtaining coffee is quite laborious. Planting, harvesting, processing, drying, milling, exporting, tasting, roasting, grinding and then brewing are all of the steps that it takes to get that liquid gold into our mugs, thermoses and ultimately in our tummies. So cheers to those who are putting in the work behind our "fuel", and cheers to those goats who reached up and nibbled on those small, red berries of the coffee brush. There are a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations and other places giving away a free cup of java in honor of National Coffee Day, so look around, and go get your free cup of joe today!

Author: R. Power

Posted by R. Power on Friday, September 26, 2014
The other night I decided to toss out my old vacuum (whom I will name, "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" as not to discredit that particular brand) and upgrade to a Miele Twist upright. I weighed the pros and cons, and a couple days later I brought home a shiny, new Sprint Blue upright vacuum. My New Miele Twist VacuumOut of the box there was literally one thing I had to do, attach the handle, and I was ready to go.

I started with my bedroom floor, which much like most of the apartment, is carpeted. Though I'll admit that the Twist is heavier than my old upright, it really scoots across the carpet with little effort. Before I knew it, I was done, but for some reason I didn't stop there. I was using the upholstery tools to clean my mattress, curtains and couch cushions, dusting the ceiling fan (how did I not notice the mountain of filth accumulating up there?), and vacuuming our living room. My curious roommate even gave it a go. She vacuumed her entire room, which really surprised me. She would normally rather have a root canal than clean!

During all this cleaning, a few thoughts occurred to me. "Wow, why am I excited? Having just turned 25(not a mom, homemaker, a homeowner, or even someone who has a strong desire to keep a clean home), why am I cleaning like my life depends on it? Is it because I'm a little nerdy, and the Twist is a bit like a gadget? Do I enjoy quality products?" I had a lot of questions but was short on answers.

This wasn't something I posted on Facebook or Instagram, but I did casually bring it up in conversation with one of my good friends, Ginny. She was surprised to hear me say "Miele" and told me that her mom had a Miele, one that literally mentioned in her mother's will, is to be passed down to Ginny. It was fun and interesting to make that Miele connection.

Soon after, I went to Asheville to visit some friends. To my pleasant surprise, I walked into my friend's house and saw that she had a Miele Plus! I exclaimed "I have a Miele too!" Of course, not everyone knew what I was talking about, but I was still excited to see someone else around my age with a Miele.

Less Than A Week Left to Get a FREE HEPA Filter w/ Every Miele Vacuum Cleaner PurchaseSo moral of my story is, you're never too young to have a superior quality home appliance. You aren't simply paying for a name, but for a lifelong (well, at least, twenty year) investment. And, if you got something good, don't keep it a secret! You'll never know who else may have a Miele in their closet.

Author: R. Power

Don't Forget! This is the last weekend for the FREE Filter w/ Every Miele Vacuum Cleaner promotion. You have less than a week to get a free HEPA filter with any Miele vacuum you buy. $49.95 value

Shop Miele Vacuum Cleaners

Posted by kevvyg on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Hello Fall!  Goodbye Summer!Officially, fall began about a day and a half ago, but for the last week or so I've been enjoying cool nights and open windows! This time of year is probably my favorite. Aside from it being a little on the dry side, the leaves are changing, there's a chill in the evening air, but warmth during the day. As the temperatures slowly begin to sink towards winter, many of us find ourselves turning our attention indoors, preparing for the colder months ahead. From replacing your HVAC filter to swapping your summer blankets for winter comforters, we all have fall routines. Now is also the time of year when many people turn their attention back to indoor air quality and consider purchasing an air purifier. Before you head to the Shop-O-Mart Superstore and toss one in your cart, consider what you're actually purchasing and if it is really going to help.

Super-Awesome-Never-Needs-To-Be-Replaced-Amazingly-Ultra-Real-True-HEPA-Filtration is the Best!!Selecting an air purifier can be a real hassle. There is a glut of products on the market that range all across the board in terms of price, filtration and features. For now, I want to focus mainly on the models you'll find in your local big box store. You know what I'm talking about. The $50-150 plastic, Made-In-China special that features "Super-Awesome-Never-Needs-To-Be-Replaced-Amazingly-Ultra-Real-True-HEPA-Filtration!!!" Ok, so perhaps I exaggerate just a bit, but you know I'm talking about. There are several points that I want to make about this style of air purifier, so let's just start with the most basic.
  • You Get What You Pay For - The reality is, most of us gave up on the About Like the Westinghouse We Had - They Don't Make 'em Like They Used Too!notion of repairing appliances a long time ago. Thirty years ago you likely would have found at least a handful of people in your local community who repaired home appliances. Replace a part here or there, a new belt, and you were as good as new. While prices certainly haven't gone down, quality and longevity of home appliances have.

    As quick anecdote, growing up, my family had an old Westinghouse refrigerator. Unlike now, back then Westinghouse was made here in the U.S. It was as ugly as sin, weighed as much as a Yugo, and nearly as big. It was a hand-me-down, but by the time it finally died, it was roughly sixty years old! Even then, I think we got $15 out of it just for the steel. Can you imagine a home appliance lasting sixty years? No? Well neither can most manufacturers. There's more money in cheap and disposable than durable and long lasting. It's good to keep this in mind when looking at any home appliance, and the same holds true for air purifiers.

  • Too Good to Be True? - If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don't get caught up in superlatives, glittering generalities, and marketing language. There's a lot of it out there, and ultimately, an air purifier is just another tool that you can use to better control your indoor environment. It's not a cure-all. You won't be running four minute miles or leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but with the right one, you will likely sleep better, wake up feeling better and breathe a little easier.

  • Different Name, Same Place - This is pretty common in the air purifier industry anymore. Notice how several different brands all look the same? It's often because they come from the same factory in China. Often the only difference, particularly amongst cheaper air purifiers, is the name or color.

  • Features - What do you need? Carbon for odors? Don't expect a cheap air purifier to pack much carbon. Sealed systems? Virtually non-existent with these types of models. Want something made of steel that won't off gas? Not going to happen. Ionizers? This... this you can get. Ionization is an inexpensive technology that can produce ozone, but remains a feature built into many less expensive air purifiers, mainly because it can increase filtration rates while using a lower quality filter. It has a high CADR. That means it's the one for me, right? Maybe. Inexpensive air purifiers are often run through the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) test and display good results, but the CADR has its share of drawbacks, so don't let it be the only reason you select a particular model.

  • Filterless Units - Simply don't work. Stop considering or buying them. Let someone else be a sucker. "But Kevin, I can see the dust that the plates are collecting. That means they're working right?" Wrong. My coffee table collects dust, but I don't sell it as an air purifier. These "air purifiers" almost ALWAYS produce ozone, which even in small amounts isn't something you want to introduce into your home.

  • Air Purifier Labels Aren't All They're Cracked Up to BeLabels - Labels can be really helpful. They can give you a quick indicator of some key features. Plus, they lend credibility to products and performance, and that is also where the problem lies. Some labels don't necessarily convey what you think they do. The CADR can lend itself to a false sense of confidence in a product when taken by itself. Air purifiers can even be endorsed by recognized entities yet still not deliver what they promise, and even the Made in the USA logo has been found to have been abused by manufacturers, all to capitalize on sentiment and sell their product. Labels are, well labels. Investigate them. What do they mean and stand for? Talk to people who have used the product, consider the company's reputation, and avoid buying something just because of a label.

Listen, I'm not trying to be too negative. For some people an inexpensive air purifier will do the trick. We offer a few models around $150 on our site. Not everyone can afford a $800 air purifier, and for some people inexpensive models can, and do, help. However, for many people a $50 unit they picked up at the same place they purchased their eggs and bath towels often ends up in a landfill after a few short years. Why? Because of all the reasons I've listed above! And because, unlike your bath towel, the air purifier didn't do what you needed.

If you want more comprehensive information of what types of filtration are out there and what are the qualities you should look for in a quality HEPA air purifier, visit our Air Purifier Buying Guide. In it we give you a thorough overview of the different types of filtration available as well as the information you need to make a solid choice while avoiding the pitfalls of marketer-speak or being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of imitators and snake oil. This is why on this site you'll find more information than any other. From determining which products best meet your needs to finding simple, everyday solutions to help alleviate symptoms, you can find a variety of answers to your questions.

Author: K. Gilmore

Page: 1 of 40
Health Blogs
Health Blogs

* Sign Up For Monthly Newsletter to Receive Special Discount *


Air Pollution Masks Allergies Asthma Allergy Bedding Allergy Armor Peanut Allergy Bedbugs Dust Mites Seasonal Allergy Steam Cleaners Humidity Control Mold Mold Prevention Pet Allergies Allergy Pillows Austin Air Neti Pot Nasal Irrigation Soy Allergy Allergy Research Allergy Study Tree Nut Allergy Food Allergies Eczema Mattresses Organic Blanket Miele Vacuums Pet Dander Dyson Pet Hair Humidifiers Dehumidifiers IQAir Ladybug Danby VOC's IAQ Blueair Smog Wildfires Electrolux SEBO AllerAir Cigarette Smoke Sinusitis Sulfates Achoo Newsletter Vacuum Cleaners Air Purifiers Valentine's Day Reliable Steam Mop Aprilaire Dri-Eaz Air-O-Swiss Humidity Pollen Count HEPA Filter Allergy Relief Anaphylaxis Auto Injector Winter Allergies Allergy Friendly Allergy Mask Pollen Mattress Pad Memory Foam New Product Fleas Atlanta How To FAQ Video Nebulizer Formaldehyde Toulene Achoo Promotion Ozone FDA Furnace Filter Ogallala Bedding MCS Hypoallergenic Down Tobacco Smoke Whirlpool ragweed Asthma Drug RZ Mask Organic Bedding Respro Better Sleep Immunotherapy Genetically Modified Environmental Control Sunscreen Vanicream BPA Phthalates Feminine Health Ask An Allergist Stadler Form Crane Humidifiers Antimicrobial COPD Recipes EcoDiscoveries Baby Allergy Products Santa Fe Dehumidifiers Vaping SLIT Vogmask Holidays Sensitive Skin
Shop Items On Sale At AchooAllergy.com