Now that the weather is getting warmer it's impossible to not want to be outside, but after stepping into the sunshine you take just one deep breath of the fresh air and start sneezing up a storm. Your eyes become red and puffy and your nose keeps on running. No, this isn't some quick-fading cold that comes with the changing seasons, it's full-blown seasonal allergies.
Freshly bloomed flowers in the spring may be beautiful to look at, but just make sure you don't get too close if you're allergic to pollen. A picnic in the park might sound like a good idea, but not for those who suffer from tree allergies and ragweed. Don't even get us started on those horrible bee stings that come with spending more time outdoors.
According to the CDC, more than 50 million Americans suffer from various allergies each year, with the most common types being hay fever (an allergy caused by pollen or dust) and asthma.
Managing your allergies doesn't have to be a constant battle, though. There are lots of apps available in the app stores that can help you see the pollen and ragweed forecast so you know whether or not that morning jog is a good idea or not.
Although not seasonal, food allergies can really put a damper on springtime fun. But there are also apps that can make planning a park lunch or a meal out easy to do.
With these apps, you no longer have to feel like you must stay indoors. Here are the six best allergy apps that will help you make it through springtime alive.
• For managing: Outdoor allergies like hay fever, year-round indoor, food, skin, drug, insect bite/sting and latex allergies.
• Best used for: Tracking allergies, receiving alerts when allergies like tree pollen, dust and dander are high, reading articles to further educate yourself on the topic.
• Why download this app: Developed by the trusted medical source WebMD, this app has just about every allergy-related feature you could ask for. This includes a personalized allergy forecast based on the day and location, a tracker to monitor symptoms and treatments and doctor-approved tips that are customized to suit your needs.
• For managing: Pollen allergies
• Best used for: Seeing daily pollen counts, tracking symptoms, viewing the weather.
• Why download this app: This app gives you a more accurate reading of how you will feel once you step outside. Instead of just providing a pollen count, it also has an allergy impact feature that will tell the user if they will feel better or worse than the count suggests.
Med Helper Pill Reminder
• For managing: Prescription medications.
• Best used for: Keeping track of medications, reminding the user when they need to take their pills, sending alerts for when medication is running low.
• Why download this app: You might forget if you took your cetirizine or fexofenadine or not, so this app will make sure that you get your daily dose in. Users enter in all prescriptions and will be reminded the proper dosage and when it's time to take it. You can also enter in your doctor and pharmacy information, as well as your next appointments.
• For managing: Asthma.
• Best used for: Managing asthma, keeping a journal of symptoms, having a plan ready for when an attack hits and sharing charts with doctors.
• Why download this app: Users can track every symptom, see triggers and input medication and reminders of when to take them. There is also a detailed "Action Plan" to help take control of an attack by telling you when to use your inhaler and then monitoring if you need another dose. The pie graphs are perfect to share with doctors regarding overall adherence.
ipiit, The Food Ambassador
• For managing: Food allergies.
• Best used for: Identifying products that you can't eat - perfect to use when snacking with friends during springtime picnics.
• Why download this app: Food shopping can be difficult for those with multiple food allergies. This app makes it easier by identifying items that you can't eat by scanning the bar code on the item. The app will then tell you why this item is not good for you. Users set what they are allergic to and can compare nutritional info in products and find alternates.
• For managing: Food allergies
• Best used for: Finding restaurants that are sensitive to your food allergies.
• Why download this app: Nice weather means spending time out with family and friends, but when hunger hits, you might not know what restaurants nearby cater to your food allergies. This app lets you set allergies, search or find nearby locations and see how well they rank for those with that specific allergy. Users can also save favorite restaurants, see the menu, call to make a reservation and see comments from other users. There is even a Disney World guide to eating in the parks during spring break!
• Available: for free for iOS and Android.
Photo: Domenico Salvagnin | Flickr