Asthma Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Valentine's Day

Asthma Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Valentine's Day

Asthma and allergies can put on damper on your Valentine's Day romancing, an expert warns.

"Keeping everyone free of allergy and asthma flare-ups helps keep the focus on romance this Valentine's Day. Red or itchy eyes, runny noses, coughs and fatigue can ruin your celebration," Dr. Bradley Chipps, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), said in a college news release.

Chipps and his organization outlined a number of ways to avoid allergy/asthma problems on Valentine's Day, which is Wednesday.

If you're considering giving your sweetheart a gift of jewelry or clothing, you need to be aware of contact dermatitis, a skin reaction caused by an irritant or an allergen. Symptoms can include a rash, blisters, itching and burning. Potential triggers include nickel, which is found in some jewelry, and wool.

Snuggling in front of a fire may not be a good idea for someone with asthma because smoke is a common asthma trigger. That also includes secondhand smoke from cigarettes, the ACAAI said.

Chocolates are a common gift on Valentine's Day, but they often contain major allergens such as eggs, milk, tree nuts and peanuts. If your honey bunny has any food allergies, check the ingredients before offering chocolates or any other gift of food.

If you and your loved one are planning a trip to celebrate Valentine's Day, you should take steps to prevent allergy and asthma flare-ups.

Pack allergy and asthma medications in a separate small bag so you can keep them nearby. If dust allergies are a problem, consider bringing pillow and mattress covers. It might be best to travel in the early morning or late evening because air quality is generally better. Book a nonsmoking room and if you get a rental car, ask for one that hasn't been smoked in, the ACAAI suggested.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has more on allergens and irritants.


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