Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Health

We try out six of the best allergy relievers for you

By Polly Weeks

With Allergy Awareness Week due to run from April 25-May 1, say goodbye to those dastardly triggers with these great gadgets.

Nose it all

LloydsPharmacy Allergy Reliever, £19.99, from

Small but perfectly formed, this battery (3V) operated device, will quickly become an essential during hay fever season.

That said, you'll probably want to use it in the privacy of your own home rather than get odd looks on the bus for sticking prongs up your nose.

It works by using red light therapy which stops cells producing histamine. What this means in practice is, when turned on, your nose will slightly glow for three minutes while the device goes to work.

It's comfortable, easy to use and easy to clean. It can be used alongside your other medication like antihistamines, but for those who have mild symptoms, you may well find it does the trick on its own.

Matt attack

Hoover UltraMATT MBC500UV Mattress Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, £149.99, from

If you're a bit squeamish, look away now: a mattress can be home to 10 million dust mites. So if you're allergic to the critters, you could have an awful lot of sneezing or hives coming your way. While you can't just pop your mattress into the washing machine, this little hand-held vacuum cleaner does the same job - getting rid of 99.9% of bacteria and allergens - including dirt and those dreaded mites. This Allergy UK approved hoover not only removes nasties (thanks to its 500W motor) but it comes with a germicidal UV-C lamp to stop them coming back. It's lightweight, straightforward to operate and doesn't require charging (it comes with a five-metre cord).

And breathe

Homedics True HEPA Tower Air Purifier, £200, from

Air purifiers may cost a fair amount, but if you suffer from allergies, they can help alleviate symptoms including making breathing easier.

This one, from Homedics, provides relief from lots of types of allergens, including pollen, smoke, mould, pets, dust particles and dust mites.

The tower works by quietly removing airborne particles and allergens from the air using HEPA technology and a UV-C light. Together they capture up to 99.97% of them. So, when your hay fever is really bad, close the windows, turn it on and lie back and relax.

You can set it on a timer or operate it using the remote control. This is an investment you won't regret making.

Get steamy

Shark 2 in 1 Electronic Steam Mop, £149.99, from

It's unfortunate that the products we use to clean our house and get rid of allergens are, for some, what actually causes a reaction. If you're one of the unlucky ones, harness the power of steam cleaning. While this Shark number just requires water to clean, it gets rid of an impressive 99.9% of household germs (including other allergens). There are three functions: dusting, mopping and scrubbing - just click the button until your desired setting lights up. You can also separate the body and turn it into a hand-held steamer for surfaces like shower screens, hobs or tiled walls. What we really love about this mop though is the two-sided mop 'pockets' - the mop head can flip over, so you can use both sides before sticking them in the washing machine.

Deep clean

BISSELL ProHeat 2X Revolution carpet cleaner 18588, £299.99, from

Gone are the days when washing carpets meant having to hire a machine or professional cleaning company. Carpet cleaners are now affordable, easy-to-store and some, like this Bissell model, do just as good a job as commercial appliances, leaving your carpet hygienically clean.

Bissell believe this device picks up 10 times more dust mites and pet hair than your average vac.

It's a pain-free job, too. After applying the water and anti-bacterial mix (held in the top part of the cleaner), you only need to go over the carpet twice (once forwards, once back) and the grime will be sucked up into the large tank. You'll be horrified and relieved in equal measure when you see how much dirt comes out of your carpet.

Small but mitey

Philips Mite Cleaning Vacuum Cleaner, currently priced £203.42, from

Whether your pet can't resist the lure of your sofa or you suspect your curtains, mattress and blankets have fallen victim to dust mites, this vacuum will come to the rescue.

Created for soft surfaces, the bronzed beauty comes with a 450W motor and HEPA 12 filter to remove allergens from your furnishings.

It's lightweight, has a UV-Light and it's very simple to dispose of the dust collected.

The suction is reassuringly strong and there's even a little brush that comes with it so you can keep your vacuum clean.

App of the week

This app has the seal of approval from Allergy UK and you can see why. Choose from the various allergies and dietary requirements, then receive recipes, tips and product suggestions that suit.

Top 10 iPhone apps

1. Minecraft: Pocket Edition by Mojang

2. Facetune by Lightricks Ltd

3.The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit for Car Drivers by TSO

4. 7 Minute Workout Challenge by Fitness Guide Inc

5. Heads Up! by Warner Bros

6. Radiation Island by Atypical Games

7. MONOPOLY Game by Electronic Arts

8. Plague Inc. by Ndemic Creations

9. Face Swap Live by Laan Labs

10. Theory Test for Car Drivers UK - Driving Test Success by Focus Multimedia

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