This week's toolkit is a personal one: allergies. I've had 'em as long as I can remember and this year, they are TERRIBLE. I can barely function myself, sometimes, and figured these seven tools might help alleviate the suffering of others.
This sounds really gross, but flushing your sinuses with saltwater is the best thing you can do for your allergies after taking the requisite Claritin/Zyrtec pill. Getting rid of the embedded pollens and dust will alleviate many of the symptoms that plague you even after taking meds. The neti pot the trendy pick among holistic medicine freaks and the yoga crowd, but c'mon, porcelin is not tech. And man can it be messy. The SinuSense water pulsator, on the other hand, sends a powered, but gentle, blast of water up your nose, ensuring a 21st century rinse. $US35
SafeGuard HEPA Window Filters: Half the battle is just keeping the bad stuff out of your environment. With the weather getting warm, nobody wants their house to get stuffy, but opening your windows is an invitation for an allergy blitz. A window filter will at least let you get some fresh air in your place, even if you probably won't catch a breeze. $US20-30/filter.
AllergyManager iPhone App: Your iPhone can't cure your allergies, but you can at least manage your expectations before you leave your hypoallergenic sanctuary and brave the elements. If you can stomach the advertisements for Allergy medicine Omnaris, AllergyManager is a good app that rates how bad the allergy threat is in your city, and lets you know what types of symptoms you're likely to encounter. Free.
Dyson Asthma and Allergy Kit: It may seem like common sense, but frequently dusting, sweeping and vacuuming makes a major difference with allergies. This Dyson Allergy and Asthma kit would be a pretty standard vacuum accessory set for dust removal if not for the Flexi Crevice tool, whose narrow, bendable body allows your Dyson to extract mucus-inducing dust from any hard to reach place in the home. I'm for it. $US49.
Dust Mite Mattress Cover: If dust is amplifying the effect of your allergies in the spring, getting a dust mite cover for your mattress and could help alleviate your sniffle onslaught. My allergies get worse after I fall asleep, and I'm sure whatever dust mites are hiding in my mattress aren't making things better. This case keeps the little bastards from making their way from the Sealy to your nose. $US55
First defence Nasal Screens: What's a health-related list without a little snake oil, right? First defence claims that by applying these nose filters to each nostril, you'll keep out 99% of pollens and such (just like the window screening!). I'm sure they're at least somewhat effective, but even if they do work as advertised, be forewarned that nobody will take you seriously—ever—for the rest of your life. $US10/pack of 7.
Local Honey and Bee Pollen:
Here's a remedy that many people swear by; it may not be techy, but it's so damn curious that it deserves inclusion. Many claim that eating the honey or bee pollen from whatever area you live in endows your body with a tolerance for the pollens of local plants, making your reactions to the outside world far less severe. Others, of course, say that's rubbish. But I'm one sneeze attack away from testing this on myself. Check out Whole Foods or your local farmers market for prices.
[Image via Shutterstock/Poznyakov]
Toolkit is Gizmodo's weekly roundup of the gadgets and gear you need to tackle any and every situation.