Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Role Of Scented Products in Asthma and Allergies

There is a strong association between sensitization to allergens and asthma. Children with allergies are at increased risk of developing asthma. Consequently, allergen exposure should be considered in the treatment of asthma. The most significant allergens appear to be those that are inhaled.
While strong odours and scented products (among many other things) may act as an irritant to trigger an asthmatic attack, they do not cause asthma – the predisposition to bronchial inflammation and swelling is a pre-existing condition.
Both allergic reactions and asthma, can be aggravated by strong smells which can act as a non-specific irritant to the inflamed airways of the sufferer. However, what is an irritant or trigger for one person may not be for another so it is essential to know which irritants and/or triggers create a problem for an individual and avoid them.

Q. Do fragrances cause asthma?
A. No. Medical professionals agree that fragrances do not cause asthma. However, in some situations with certain patients with a pre-existing asthma condition, various odours have been shown to trigger an asthma attack.

Q. Can fragrances trigger an asthma attack?
A. Over 200 irritants, health conditions and everyday exposures, even stress, have been identified as potential asthma triggers. Asthma experts agree that most reactions are caused by animal and insect allergens, house dust mites, air pollution, respiratory or sinus infections, stress and other substances. Determining the cause of asthmatic reactions should be done by a qualified medical specialist such as an allergist. * Staton and Ingram, 1998. Staton, G.W. and R.H. Ingram (1998). Asthma. Scientific American Medicine pp. 1-28.

Article source:  http://www.cctfa.ca/scented/policy_asthma_allergy.html

Scents that Set Off Asthma Symptoms
By Lisa D. Ellis

When it comes to avoiding your asthma triggers, you may want to rely on your nose to help guide you.
When it comes to avoiding your asthma triggers, you may want to rely on your nose to help guide you. This is because many products that can set your asthma symptoms into gear have a fragrance that your nose may find difficult to bear.

Triggers Exist Everywhere
If your nose and your lungs are especially sensitive to scent, they can be easily irritated by a wide range of fragranced items that are in high supply in most environments. In fact, a large portion of asthmatics say that the smell of certain things can indeed make them sick. Some of the common products they name include:
• Perfumes                                                                   
• Scented soaps and lotions  
• Hair products
• Cleaning supplies
• Laundry detergents
• Paint and markers

Reactions Happen
When you come into contact with these and other scented item, the exposure may prompt you to have an allergic reaction, including an asthma attack. When this happens, your body has an immune system response to the product. In some cases, though, the fumes don't involve your whole body but rather irritate the sensitive tissue in your nose and lungs. Either way, you will find yourself struggling with narrowed airways, increased mucus and other typical asthma symptoms, leaving you feeling very sick.

Avoidance is Key
Once you know the culprits that exist, it isn't all that hard to take charge in your home setting so you can eliminate these products from your daily routine. You don't have to do without many of the items in question but can instead shop for organic options that specifically say they are fragrance free. Many of these can be found in better health food stores, grocery stores and specialty shops. Just keep in mind that while you can control your exposure at home, it can be extremely difficult to avoid coming into contact with these scented items when you step outside the walls of your home.

Protect Yourself
The experts recommend that if you have family, friends or co-workers who use scented items that trigger your asthma symptoms, it is worth making an effort to talk with them about how these products make you feel and asking if they could select scent-free alternatives when they will be in your presence. To make your point, you should be prepared to give concrete examples of the things that bother and the types of symptoms they trigger. You may also want to do a search online and print out educational information that goes into more detail about the connection between scents and asthma and other health issues. Most people will be respectful of your sensitivities and will be willing to comply with your request.
Some workplaces and schools will also work with you to implement a scent-free environment on a larger scale, which can include asking everyone to go scent free, and also eliminating cleaning products and other items that can make you feel sick.

Be Prepared
Beyond these basic steps, remember that it is also important to take your allergy and asthma medications as directed to help to prevent your asthma from kicking in. You should also always carry your fast-acting relief inhaler wherever you go so you will be prepared in case your symptoms should flare.
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Asthma, Hay Fever and Skin Allergies

Perfume, flowers and jewelry are other popular gifts; but these, too, can pose problems. While the pollen from brightly colored flowers like tulips and roses are heavy and typically do not cause allergy symptoms, their strong odors can trigger a person’s asthma symptoms or rhinitis. The same goes for perfumes, colognes and scented candles.
Jewelry containing nickel can cause itchy rashes in sensitive individuals. Even trace amounts can trigger a reaction.


Picture Sources: http://www.almightydad.com/holiday/help-i-don%E2%80%99t-know-what-to-give-for-christmas

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