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What are...histamines?

If you’re like many allergy sufferers, you’ve probably taken antihistamines to control your symptoms. What you may not realize is that these medications target histamines, or chemicals made by your immune system that help your body eliminate allergens, and end up setting off pesky allergic reactions like sneezing. Here’s how they work.

The basics of histamines

Part of the body’s defense system, histamines detect the presence of allergy triggers like pollen and dust. But they also interpret those allergens as potentially harmful and, as a result, can overreact.

Specifically, when your immune system senses allergens, it signals “mast cells” in your skin, nose and other places to release histamines. Then, those trusty histamines increase the blood flow in affected areas, causing inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, signals other chemicals to step in. If you breathe in, say, pollen, histamines will cause your body to make more mucus, causing all sorts of unpleasant reactions.

Fast facts

  • Histamines can be found in some insect venom
  • The name is derived from the Greek word “histos,” meaning tissue
  • Histamine was discovered in 1910 by Dr. Henry H. Dale, the winner of the 1936 Nobel Prize in medicine
  • In the brain, it plays a key role in the sleep-wake cycle, appetite, motivation, learning, memory, and sexual behavior
  • In the blood, histamine has a lifespan of a few minutes

Clear the air

  • See an allergy specialist to find out what allergens are causing your histamines to act up and how to minimize your exposure
  • Take antihistamines if you suffer from allergies
  • Try to keep windows closed during seasons when your allergy triggers are particularly active
  • If you have a yard, make sure it’s filled with allergy-friendly plants
  • Use a smart air purifier with a HEPA filter, like Coway Airmega


1Coway air purifiers has been proven to trap dust, pollen, dander, viruses and bacteria in the air based on KCL (Korea Conformity Laboratories) testing.They have been tested in a 30㎥ size chamber according to the Korea Air Cleaning Association standard (SPS-KACA 002-132:2022 Modified) to measure the 0.01㎛ size of particle removal rate. It was tested on maximum airflow speed in normal room temperature and humidity conditions. The performance may vary in the actual living environment of customers.
→ Tested with Airmega Aim, 150, 160, AP-1216L, AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 200M, Icon, IconS, 230, 240, 250, 250 Art, 250S, 300, 300S, 400, 400S, ProX

299.97% of viruses, bacteria, fungi and pollen were verified to be removed from the air for Coway air purifiers which have Green True HEPA™ filter applied based on the Japan Food Research Laboratories(JFRL) testing according to JEM 1467 standard.
→ Tested with Coway Airmega AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 250, 250 Art, 250S, 300, 300S, 400, 400S
→ All tested by JFRL and received above result within below time.

All tested by JFRL and received above result within below time.

- Virus: Tested with Escherichia coli phage ΦX174 NBRC 103405, 60 minutes
- Bacteria: Tested with Staphylococcus epidermidis NBRC 12993, 60 minutes
- Fungi/Mold: Tested with Penicillium citrinum NBRC 6352, 60 minutes
- Pollen: Tested with Cedar Pollen extract, 60 minutes

3Aerosol test conducted in a Biosafety level 3 laboratory with two Coway air purifier models, Coway Airmega 250 and 400 for removal of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol by US based MRI Global, a not-for-profit laboratory and partner of US Department of Defense. The test was conducted in a 13.1ft3 chamber. Virus was aerosolized for 15 minutes and the product was turned on high for 2 minutes. Result showed each product effectively removed over 99.98% of the SARS-CoV-2 in 2 minutes. This is a result from a laboratory experiment condition and result may vary in different conditions. This result does not imply it kills SARS-CoV-2 or prevents the transmission of Covid-19. Coway Airmega 250S and 400S are identical to the tested models and has equal performance with an additional mobile connectivity function.

4The concentration of ammonia, acetaldehyde and acetic acid were proven to be removed within 30 minutes by FCG Research Institute, Inc. Human Life Science Lab. It is not a demonstration result in the actual use space. Not all odors and gases may be supported. → Tested with Coway Airmega 150, 160, AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 400, 400S

5The coverage area of the air purifier is based on an area where the air cleaner can make two air changes per hour (ACPH). An air change per hour translates to how many times an air purifier can clean an area, assuming the height of a ceiling to be 8 ft, in one hour. Therefore ** means two air changes per hour means that the cleaner can clean the area once every 30 minutes and * means air changes per hour means that the air purifier can clean the area once every 60 minutes.

10Terms and conditions apply. Discounts, including promotions, coupons, bundle discount and subscription discount, cannot be stacked on top of other coupons. During promotional periods, discount codes will not be able to be applied to orders. Promo codes may apply to products only—filters, accessories, and new products within 3 months of the release date are not included.