Are you causing your partner’s headache?

Are you causing your partner’s headache?

Wait! Before you go overboard on heavily scented perfume, aftershave or body spray this Valentine’s Day or any date night, you might want to check in on your sweetie-pie’s respiratory health.

Strong scents can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems in those around you. So, lightening up on the smell-goods could be your best romantic gesture of the year, says Dr. Agop Tepeli, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill.

An estimated 30 percent of Americans are sensitive to fragrances – many are unaware that perfumes are causing their breathing troubles.

“Many of my patients are surprised when they come to see me [for breathing problems] and I tell them ‘You smell really nice, but your fragrance might be causing your problems’,” Dr. Tepeli says.

Perfume sensitivities happen when one or more ingredients in a fragranced product irritate the respiratory tract after being inhaled. Signs that you may have a mild fragrance sensitivity include sneezing, postnasal drip, a persistent cough, headaches and/or nausea.

“You don’t have to be wearing fragrance to be affected. Some people with perfume sensitivity will experience breathing complications when they’re physically close to someone wearing perfume or in a room where fragrance has been sprayed,” explains Dr. Tepeli.

Chemical fragrances added to soaps, air fresheners, candles, body care and other products can all cause sensitivities. Dr. Tepeli recommends fragrance-free products for those with perfume sensitivities.

Are you trying to find a doctor? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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About the Author

Cassie Richardson
Cassie Richardson

Cassie Richardson, health enews contributor, is regional coordinator on Advocate Aurora Health's Public Affairs team. She has more than 10 years of experience in health care communications, marketing, media and public relations. Cassie is a fan of musical theater and movies. When she’s not spreading the word about health and wellness advancements, she enjoys writing fiction.