January 30, 2024
If your valentine has allergies or asthma, keep these tips in mind
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (January 30, 2024) – Valentine’s Day is around the corner. If the person you love has allergies or asthma, you’ll want to make sure to keep them safe from symptom flares in order to up the “passion quotient.”
“Nothing says love like really knowing your partner, and that means understanding what will cause problems for them due to allergies or asthma,” says allergist Gailen Marshall, MD, PhD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACCAI). “Valentine’s Day provides a great opportunity to let your loved one know you understand what brings them joy, while also keeping them safe.”
In addition, Valentine’s Day is a time when allergists start reminding their patients to begin their allergy medications. If spring allergens are a problem for you, mid-February is when you want to start thinking about how to keep them under control. Allergy medications are a good place to start.
Following are six tips – three do’s and three don’ts from ACAAI to keep your Valentine’s Day on track, and free from annoying symptoms.
- Know their allergens – If you know what makes life miserable for your sweetie, it’s much easier to steer clear when planning a celebration. This holds true for nasal, skin and eye allergies, as well as food allergies. A little research should help clear the path for your romantic event. Do they have a favorite restaurant that you know avoids cross contact of allergens? Make a reservation! Have you seen them react to nickel from previous gifts of jewelry? Skip the jewelry this time around. There’s nothing more romantic than showing you pay attention and care about their well-being.
- Look into ways you can enjoy the holiday together – Explore ways that you can bring love to the day without carrying along allergens. Think about gifts that don’t involve food or allergy triggers. A book of romantic poems, a play or concert they’ve been hoping to attend, or a gadget they’ve been eyeing might be a good way to say, “I love you.”
- Make an “emotional deposit” – If not Valentine’s Day, when? Studies show that stress can create negative effects on the body, including causing more symptoms for allergy sufferers. Aiding your loved one with relaxation could help relieve their allergies. Think about scheduling a massage for your valentine or offering them a DIY massage. Put on some relaxing music, turn the lights down and the romance up.
- Involve smoke in the celebration – Although a fire in the fireplace or a candlelit table often spells romance, it can mean an asthma flare for those who suffer with asthma. Smoke of any kind is a common trigger for people with asthma. Try an array of LED candles for that romantic candlelit effect. And don’t subject your loved one to second-hand smoke from cigarettes. Studies have linked secondhand smoke exposure with increased asthma prevalence, poorer asthma control and increased symptoms.
- Buy flowers that cause them to sneeze – Flowers are traditional on Valentine’s Day, but some flowers cause more allergic reactions than others. Flowers you might want to avoid because of pollen include daisies, goldenrod, sunflowers, and chamomile. Roses – the classic Valentine’s Day bouquet – are a safe bet for those allergic to pollen. Other “allergy-friendly” plants include begonia, cactus, clematis, columbine, crocus, daffodil and geraniums. Many types of lilies – popular in winter bouquets – are toxic to pets, so should not be allowed in your home if you have furry family members.
- Present them with a fancy bottle of perfume or cologne – Have you noticed your beloved doesn’t wear perfume or cologne very often? They may have an intolerance to strong fragrances. An intolerance is not technically an allergy, but instead a reaction to powerful scents. An intolerance can cause headaches, sneezing, watery eyes, and runny noses as well as asthma symptoms.
This Valentine’s Day, an allergist can help you and your loved ones avoid allergy triggers. Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your allergies and asthma, so you can live the (romantic) life you want.
For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of allergies and asthma, or to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy, and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter/X.