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Monday, May 16, 2016

Those perfume wearing people.....ARGH!!!!!

Since I have SO much free time (wait......I am laughing so hard I need to catch my breath........) 

As I was saying, with all my free time, I decided to take the Certified Asthma Educator Exam. Studying for it is like being back in college! I thought I would do a little "light reading" on a recent flight. I have my trusty pen to underline important parts of the book. I was hoping I could have a little peace and quiet and be able to read on the flight.

I just happened to be reading a section that said, 

"Why in people with asthma do the bronchial tubes react to asthmatic triggers in the way that they do, when the very same stimuli have no effect on the airways of someone without asthma?"
"That's for sure!" I said to my husband. He looked over at me wondering what I was talking about, and I showed him that paragraph in the book. 
I had noticed earlier that the woman sitting in the row in front of me had a REALLY stinky sweet perfume. First, it was annoying. you people have to bathe in perfume? A little goes a long way you know. 

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know where this is going. And you know that  perfume is one of my asthma triggers. I was hoping I wouldn't have an asthma attack on the plane.

Sure enough, "The Twitch" started in my throat. I tried to adjust my air vent, but there didn't seem to be much air coming out of it. Then I started breathing with my sweater over my nose. 

The woman in front of me was traveling with a small child, and had been leaning over his seat to help him with his tablet. She looked back at me through the crack in the seats, and realizing that I must look really weird with my sweater up to my nose, I said, "I think your perfume is bothering me." She sniffed her shirt and said, "I can't smell anything."

Well, sure enough....The Twitch got worse, and then the cough started. So, I took two puffs of my  inhaler. 

Now that's ironic! I had just read the section about asthma triggers, and how normal things (like perfume) don't affect people without asthma. And just to prove my point, I had to have an asthma attack.

So, what do you do when you are stuck on a flight with someone with really stinky perfume? I was traveling with Hubby and daughter, Kitty. I looked around, but the flight was full. How do you get away from someone on a plane?! I kept breathing through my sweater. As soon as we reached our traveling altitude and the captain turned off the seat belt light, I moved 3 seats away from the woman, to the aisle, where I could get more fresh air. 

It seemed to help. That and using my inhaler. 

We had a great vacation and the beach was amazing, but on the flight back....who should board the plane and sit in front of me AGAIN?? Yeah.....the Stinky Perfume Lady. 

Seriously. I am not making this up. 

Kitty said, "Uh oh mom......look who's back!" You could smell Stinky Perfume Lady coming up the aisle. So, this time I moved to the aisle BEFORE the plane left the tarmac and used my inhaler as soon as I saw the woman.

For those of you who think there is no way your perfume could make someone have an asthma attack, you can read info from The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. 

This is from their page:

"What Causes or Triggers Asthma?"

Irritants in the Air

Irritants in the environment can also bring on an asthma episode. Although people are not allergic to these items, they can bother inflamed, sensitive airways:
Notice perfume listed under "strong fumes, vapors or odors?"

Yep, it's real people. Perfume causes asthma attacks. 

So, before you spray yourself with perfume, please think of those of us who will have an asthma attack because of you. I have rarely ever said to someone, "I just had an asthma attack and had to use my inhaler because of your perfume." Let me tell you....that is one awkward conversation to have to start. 

But people won't know if you don't say anything. So, for those of you reading this, PLEASE do no wear perfume to areas where we are all stuck together (planes, auditoriums, movie theaters, church, etc.)

I thank you and my poor little asthma lungs thank you.   


  1. Astrazeneca (makers of pulmicort and symbicort) developed a new asthma drug for severe asthma similar to xolair and teva's cinquair. I wonder why so many of these are being approved so quickly

    1. Yeah, I talked to Asthma Doc about Cinqair and Nucala. But he prefers Xolair, and our insurance covered it for Son #2, so hopefully they will also for daughter Kitty!

      At an asthma conference I attended, a nationally known doctor talked about new research and that biologics are going to be the "new thing"

  2. Worthy Blog! Thank you for sharing this wonderful information with us.

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  3. Also, when did you start seeing improvements in allergy shots? I know everyone is different but wanted to gage feedback. I have been on them for 2 years but have missed alot of shots due to infections. I don't have nearly as many allergies as your daughter. I am not allergic to any type of pollen. Maybe I should ask to be tested again. Frustrating

    1. I can't remember - it's been so long since my kids had them. They can re-test you and adjust your serum to add or delete allergens. You can ask your doc what he thinks?

  4. I work for a company that is working on asthma research. You can find us on Facebook under Crowd Cure Asthma 2020. We would love to work with you!