I had no idea I was allergic to dogs until I actually lived with one. Within a week of my boyfriend and his dog, Sophie, moving into my small one-bedroom apartment, it felt like there was dog hair and dander everywhere. Soon enough, my allergies made themselves apparent. Mornings were the worst: I would wake up puffy-eyed, stuffy and sneezing constantly. The immediate solution was to pop a Claritin or Zyrtec, which worked just fine, but I wanted a fix that didn’t involve daily pills.
After a lot of Google searches, I was convinced that an air purifier with a HEPA filter offered my best chance for relief. Pet dander, after all, is just another contaminant for a purifier to pull from the air, and the filter captures it within its multilayered netting. I had already been considering getting a HEPA air purifier anyway (the EPA says it “can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors”), so now I had twice the incentive to find one. I read dozens of online reviews and noticed one option always rising to the top. The Levoit Air Purifier checked off all my criteria: It has a HEPA filter, it’s compact and light, and it costs less than $100. I bought one for next-day delivery and set it up in my bedroom.
Within about three days, I felt a noticeable difference. When I woke up, my nasal passages were clear, my eyes were de-puffed and less itchy, and there were no fits of nonstop sneezing. As a bonus, I also noticed that I was sleeping better, which was more likely due to the soothing soft humming noise the machine makes, but I wasn’t complaining. In the seven months I’ve owned the Levoit, I’ve reduced my allergy-pill intake from once a day to once a month — and it’s not even every month. I’ve also recommended it to at least a half-dozen people who are now satisfied, sniffle-free owners of both a dog and a Levoit air purifier.
Unfortunately, Sophie passed away just last week at 16 years old. She was a wonderful dog, gentle and kind, and she brought so much joy to our lives. The allergies were definitely worth it.
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