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 fragrances can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems in those around you with a sensitivity. 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 Health Care.

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.

Want to learn more about your lung health? Take a free online quiz to learn your lung cancer risk.

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About the Author

Cassie Richardson
Cassie Richardson

Cassie Richardson, health enews contributor, is regional coordinator on the Public Affairs team for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. 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.