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Allergy Awareness Week - Optimising Indoor Air Quality for Hay Fever Sufferers 

Allergy Awareness Week - Optimising Indoor Air Quality for Hay Fever Sufferers 
27 April 2021
 

As allergy season gets underway, an indoor air quality monitoring company is introducing pollen level tracking to its app, to help employers learn how to make the workplace more comfortable for hay fever sufferers.

Airthings has introduced “My Pollen Levels”, a new feature to its air quality monitoring app, which allows users to track live pollen levels in the surroundings or any location, and optimise the indoor air quality based on these insights. 

Facilities managers can then optimise the indoor air quality based on these insights, potentially reducing allergy triggers and symptoms by ventilating at the right time or purifying the air.

 

“Good indoor air is important for our health, wellbeing and performance, especially now that we’re all spending more time indoors. Air quality sensors give you insight into your air quality and help you understand how small changes impact your health.”

–Kai Gustavsen

Chief Adviser, Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association (NAAF)

 

Allergy-Related Work Absences

 

Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. When people with a pollen allergy, also known as hay fever, breathe in pollen grains, it causes sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose, or can even trigger asthma attacks. Hay fever, which often starts in childhood, affects one in four people in the UK (13 million) and approximately nine out of ten hay fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen. 

According to  FirstCare, which maintains the UK’s largest database on absence in the workplace, allergy-related absence costs employers millions annually. Across records of absence of more than 160,000 employees in the UK in 2015, more than 17,000 days were lost to allergy-related absence. This also does not take into account hay fever’s contribution to other respiratory disorders, and ear, nose and throat issues.

It also might be the case that home workers who suffer from hay fever are missing the additional ventilation options usually offered to them in the workplace. This may be particularly true for those living in rural areas.

“By providing people with real-time pollen data in any location as well as regional trends with a map overview, we can help them manage their exposure and significantly improve their health,” says Oyvind Birkenes, CEO of Airthings. “We’re excited to offer this feature to all customers of Airthings’ smart products and to empower them to breathe better.”

 

Allergy Control With Ventilation

 

Knowing when to ventilate or when to keep windows closed based on local pollen levels can be essential to keeping allergies at bay.

“Good indoor air is important for our health, wellbeing and performance, especially now that we’re all spending more time indoors. Air quality sensors give you insight into your air quality and help you understand how small changes impact your health,” said Kai Gustavsen, Chief Adviser of the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association (NAAF). 

The new feature is powered by BreezoMeter, a provider of environmental intelligence. BreezoMeter uses innovative pollen models and big data analysis to provide a continuous pollen index, based on the daily pollen forecast. cal data, empowering users with the most relevant pollen information to them.

“In the same way our global weather trends are becoming more unpredictable as a result of climate change, so too are pollen season start and end dates. To ensure that allergy sufferers aren’t caught off guard, we utilise multi-data sources and sophisticated AI,” says BreezoMeter’s Chief Scientist Dr. Gabriela Adler. 

“By integrating BreezoMeter’s data into their mobile app, Airthings enables users with actionable pollen information that can be used for better indoor air decision-making and better control of allergy symptoms.”

Picture: a photograph of a person in bed, blowing their nose with a tissue

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 27 April 2021

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