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Breathe Easy on Valentine’s Day

Breathe Easy as You Plan an Allergy- and Asthma-free Valentine’s Day

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (January 24, 2017)– No pressure, but if you want to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart, keep their allergies and asthma in mind. There’s nothing like an allergy flare to ruin the romantic vibe you’ve got going.

“Adapting romantic plans for allergic loved ones does not have to be elaborate,” says allergist Stephen Tilles, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “But it must be thoughtful. If you keep your sweetheart’s allergies and asthma in mind when planning your day, you can avoid wheezing, sneezing and itchy eyes – all things that are decidedly unromantic.”

Below are five tips from ACAAI to keep in mind for a sneeze- and wheeze-free Valentine’s Day.

  1. Who doesn’t love flowers? Nobody! But they have to be fairly non-allergenic in order to have the proper romantic effect. For those allergic to plant pollen, roses, as well as some other plants, produce very little or no pollen. Other “allergy-friendly” flowering plants include begonia, columbine, crocus, daffodil and geraniums. Go ahead and go wild with a bouquet.
  2. The way to his or her heart? Their stomach, of course – If a romantic dinner is on the Valentine’s Day agenda, prep well in advance. Staying healthy adds fuel to the romantic fire, and a nutritious diet is important for managing both allergies and asthma. Steer clear of food allergies of course, and avoid anything that might cause your loved one to have a reaction. Don’t use the special day to add new, untested ingredients to your favorite dishes.
  3. Your sweetie will love a relaxing environment– Helping your loved one relax could help relieve their allergies. A recent study showed stress can create negative effects on the body, including causing more symptoms for allergy sufferers. And while alleviating stress won’t cure allergies, it may help decrease episodes of intense symptoms. A massage – given by you or a professional – could be just the ticket to a beautiful evening of romance.
  4. The nose knows– Your sweetheart may respond poorly to strong fragrances such as perfume and cologne. The response – generally a reaction to odors created by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – can cause headaches, sneezing, watery eyes and runny noses. Avoid gifts like perfume, fragranced soaps or cologne if you’ve noticed your loved one doesn’t use those products.
  5. Give us a kiss. Or maybe a hug?– Although hard to believe, there’s something called a “kissing allergy.” It most commonly occurs when the kiss transfers food or medication from the non-allergic partner to the allergic loved one.  Symptoms include swelling of the lips or throat, rash, hives, itching and wheezing. What’s a lovebird to do? Allergists recommend that the non-allergic partner brush his or her teeth, rinse his or her mouth and avoid the offending food for 16 to 24 hours before smooching.

Romance is the way to go on Valentine’s Day, and there’s nothing more romantic than making sure your loved one can enjoy the day without sneezing or wheezing.

For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of allergies and asthma, or to locate an allergist in your area, visit