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Providing technological help for Irish hay fever sufferers

The evenings are getting longer. Plants are beginning to flower. Most of us are starting to look forward in anticipation of long summer days, with high temperatures and gentle breezes. However, there are many among us that secretly dream of a summer season filled with grey murky skies, blustery gales and torrential downpours. These individuals are oftentimes forced indoors, with windows shut, wishing the sunshine away. For those lucky enough to be able to enjoy the summer, sun pollen means little.

For the one million Irish people suffering from hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, pollen means pain, with streaming eyes, runny noses, sneezing and headaches. Until recently, those stricken with hay fever only had their trusted shirtsleeves to turn to in times of desperation. Now sufferers can find solace in their smartphones, with numerous online resources and apps.

These tools allow sufferers to predict when their symptoms may trigger, thus giving them an opportunity to plan ahead with early commencement of treatment or allergen avoidance. The majority of resources available focus on the US and UK but there are a handful of decent apps and online tools worth recommending here.

Asthma Society of Ireland

Asthma Coach is an iPhone app containing a pollen spores forecast that is accessible from April to November. The forecast is available on a province-by-province basis. The pollen levels displayed range from low, moderate, high to very high and the app also provides the user with some excellent self-help tips and advice on allergen avoidance.

This convenient forecast tool is also viewable on www.asthma.ie. If users require further advice on how to avoid triggers and cope with hay fever, they are encouraged to call the Asthma Advice line on Tel: 1850 445464.

Hay fever relief

The majority of Irish hay fever sufferers self-medicate, so this new iPhone app (Hay Fever Relief), developed by MedApp Ltd in association with Irish allergy expert Dr Paul Carson, gives users a better understanding of their symptoms and details the most appropriate course of treatment warranted.

The app allows users to easily input their symptoms, which are then graded according to severity. The app then recommends the best treatment available. It also provides vital information on pollen counts both in Ireland and within Europe — useful if travelling over the summer months. Easy to use with beautiful interactive graphics, this is a welcome addition to the Irish market for hay fever sufferers.

Websites

If you are planning a holiday abroad, the majority of the apps available may leave you again reaching for your Kleenex, as they are designed for specific geographical areas, so users are forced online to access reliable forecasts for overseas destinations.

There are many accurate online resources that allow you to research your trip prior to travel and advise if it is necessary to start your nasal spray, pack some antihistamine or possibly even pick an alternative destination. www.meteovista.co.uk provides an excellent seven-day pollen forecast detailing various offending allergens. It is easy to navigate, summarising the information required in a nice graphical table. Meanwhile, www.weather.com provides a more basic allergy tracker, which provides a one-day pollen count forecast. 

Seasonal allergic rhinitis is not a life-threatening condition but it does impact negatively on a sufferer’s quality of life. High in quality but few in number, the apps and online resources available provide sufferers with the ability to tailor their management plan around the forecasted pollen counts.

If you find yourself prescribing a script for an antihistamine or nasal steroid this summer, consider also mentioning the above resources to maximise the benefit that these treatments provide.

Dr Kieran Coleman is a GP registrar working in the West of Ireland and is co-founder of the medical app development company Hospital Contact Ltd. www.hospitalcontact.com

ZyXEL’s WAC6103D-I Access Point

The ultra-fast, ultra-slim and super strong Wi-Fi point

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Fed up with slow Wi-Fi that is continually dropping? The ZyXEL’s WAC6103D-I Access Point may be the answer for you. 

The ZyXEL WAC6103D-I Access Point is a high performance, three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi access point, featuring ultra-fast speeds of up to 1.75gbps and ground-breaking ‘dual-optimised’ antenna design. It is ceiling-mountable, slim and is regarded as a premium access point ideally suited for companies with between one and 50 devices. It is perfect for environments that experience poor Wi-Fi coverage or slow connection speeds.

To Wi-Fi users, it is not uncommon to have bad experiences on Wi-Fi performance, and the antenna design plays an important role while evaluating wireless performance. Today, most access points on the market are designed with single static radiation pattern, typically for ceiling-mount. 

The ZyXEL WAC6103D-I AP is different, as it features innovative ‘Dual-Optimised Antenna Technology’ so it adjusts its antenna settings according to the way it is installed; it is switchable two ways, whether it is on a ceiling or wall, to provide the very best possible signal coverage.

Enterprise-class 3×3 802.11ac AP supports combined data rates of up to 1.75gbps.

‘Dual-optimised antenna’ allows pattern optimisation adapting to wall or ceiling mount installations.

Dynamic channel selection, load balancing and Smart Client Steering ensure optimal wireless experience.

Stylish, ultra-slim ID design as the 32mm height blends perfectly into modern interior decorations.

APFlexTM and ZyXEL One Network utilities make deployment simple and fast.

Available at Right-Click for just €379.99 and we also provide a local installation service.

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