If you're a seasonal allergy sufferer, you probably know that spring isn't the only allergy season, which many believe. Allergens are present throughout the year, from the tree pollen in the spring, to ragweed in the late summer and autumn, and grass pollen that spreads between. There are also dust and mold, other common allergens that can bother allergy sufferers even during the winter months.
Also, when having an allergy, one thing can lead to another, so it's not uncommon that, for example, people with an allergy to ragweed pollen develop an allergy to grass, tree, or even certain foods.
To better control their allergies, people who suffer from them are advised to prepare for the pollen season so they could start treatment as early as possible for the better control of symptoms.
Also, once the season starts, allergy sufferers are advised to record their symptoms on a daily basis, which can help in more efficient allergy management.
Many people with allergies use mobile apps that provide not only tracking options and diaries, but also allergen and weather forecasts, educational materials, allergy-friendly recipes, allergen product scanners, and much more.
We have already reviewed Allergy Diary app by MACVIA ARIA for patients with allergy to keep a daily record of their allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as medication use, for better control of their condition.
The app we review today is made by WebMD, one of the leaders in the medical industry, who also developed several other apps we reviewed here on SteadyHealth. WebMD Allergy is a free app for Android and iOS, which allows users to track their allergies and get real-time alerts anywhere.
The app helps allergy sufferers prepare for each day with a personalized allergy and weather forecast, as well as a range of medical advice and tips that can be customized for specific allergies.
WebMD Allergy app doesn't require users to register an account as it used to, but you would be asked several questions in their Survey, particularly about medications you used last year if you're a mother with a child under the age 18, and about the allergy symptoms that bother you the most.
The Allergy Forecast is the first thing you'd see upon opening the app. You first need to allow the app to access your location, or alternatively, you can enter zip code manually, to get the weather and allergy forecast, and alerts for your local area and selected allergy types. The WebMD app uses AccuWeather.com as its forecast source.
You'd see if there are alerts for Mold, Dust, Tree, Grass, and Ragweed, and if there are, the app would indicate their levels, including Low, Moderate, High and Extremely High, each featured with a different color. There is also a map of your location (city) with areas shown in lighter or darker green color indicating the severity of allergy symptoms.
You can also check other locations (if you travel) and get the allergen forecast along with the map. However, I've encountered a problem, because the app was always showing the same map (my location) for every other location. Also, the app only covers locations in the U.S.
The home page also contains featured articles, slideshows, and videos on specific allergy types that can be found in from the Library or Allergy 101 section. This section contains all the allergy information you need to become more knowledgeable about different kinds of common allergies.
The Allergy 101 section provides information in 9 categories that are targeted toward specific allergy types, including Outdoor/Hay Fever, Indoor/Year-Round, Drug Allergies, Food Allergies, Skin Allergies, Insect Bites and Stings, Latex Allergies, Children's Allergies, and Allergy Basics.
As said, all information is provided in textual, photo and video format. Articles are referenced, mentioning sources used at the bottom of each article.
Allergy Tracker is another app's feature that most chronic allergy sufferers would find very useful. This tracker feature allows users to add moods, symptoms, and medications they want to track daily. Here, users can also add notes. Users can check previous entries (and edit them) by tapping on History.
To my disappointment, the data you track isn't displayed in some sort of graph, which would be easy-to-view, but rather in a form of textual descriptions shown for each day. There is no way to see trends, commonly used medications, or compare moods and symptoms with particular weather/allergy forecast. Everything looks somehow bland and flat.
The thing I liked about Tracker feature is an ability to print or email your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly summary report and share it with others.
Another thing I liked is alerts that WebMD Allergy app sends to its users when the level of particular allergen is high, which can be set on a scale from 1 to 5.
There is an obvious shortage of reliable allergy apps in both markets. While the WebMD Allergy app fills the void by providing the information and the useful tools for people with allergy, I honestly expected a bit more. I won't say it's a bad app, but it could certainly be better, especially because it comes from such reliable and trusted resource.
Benefit: All allergy sufferers based in U.S. who need allergy tracker with allergy forecast and knowledge base would find this app useful