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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Curse that perfume!

(Shutterstock image)

Perfume can be the most delicious smell in all the world. There are so many scents of perfume-some are REALLY strong, and others you can hardly smell.

The problem is that they can also trigger an asthma attack. I've never had any problems with perfume until the last year, since then I've had 3 asthma attacks because of someone's perfume.  

I also have a neighbor who suffers asthma attacks from people's perfume. It's always worse when you are stuck in a building (and unable to discreetly walk out of a piano recital, band concert, dance recital, etc.)

This weekend was THE BIG football game. The rivalry around here that everyone waits all year for. There are some pretty funny pranks going on throughout the state that they highlight on the evening news. That's how serious this rivalry is! 

Neighbor was at the game and called to say she was having a hard time breathing because of someone's perfume. She was OUTSIDE, in a stadium, and was still having a hard time breathing. I wonder how much perfume the woman was wearing who was sitting by her?! Neighbor asked if I could drive to the stadium and pick her up. This was a piece of cake since the streets were deserted because most people were already at the game. 

The sad part? Neighbor had to leave her highly sought after seat in the stadium and go home and watch the rest of the game on TV. And the woman wearing the perfume probably had no idea that she had cause someone else to have an asthma attack and that person then had to leave the stadium. 

The website everyday HEALTH  has an article written by an asthma expert, Dr. Anna Feldweg. She  talks about how perfume is an asthma trigger for some people. It's NOT an allergy, it's an irritant. Some things just irritate the airways (perfume, household cleaners and tobacco smoke) when you have asthma. 

What can you do? Not much. Neighbor and I can't exactly go around and tell people to stop wearing perfume. We can keep our inhalers close by so that if we have an attack, we can treat it quickly.

If there is a family member or co-worker that you see all the time and who wears strong perfume, you can sweetly explain the situation to them and ask them to stop wearing the perfume. It's an awkward situation, and I've had to do it several times. 

But on the flip side-not being able to breathe really stinks. Not be mention the fact that asthma attacks are dangerous. Most can be treated, but sometimes they go from bad to worse and you may end up in the emergency room. 

Please think of those of us who have asthma the next time you spray on a lot of perfume. If people can tell where you have been because every room they walk into smells like your perfume, you may be wearing too much!! 

We need to be able to breathe too! :)


  1. I use perfums - my lungs aren't sensitive to them. But I give them little - I think, that if someone is clean, perfums are only little add. When is too much of them, effect will be worse than better. As said my teacher from the middle school: "Less perfums, more soap!".
    I'm also asthmatic, so I can understand what You write. In my opinion, there is no worse thing than dirty man or woman with perfumes - and I had a lot of occasions to see (and feel) that.
    Greetings from autumn Poland :)

    1. Hi Zim, I like that saying, "Less perfums, more soap!"

      Perfume can be fine, but it seems like most people spray on WAY too much. :(

      Here's to using soap!