Leave Your Sweetie Breathless on Valentine’s Day… but Not From an Allergic Response!

Roses

It’s tough to plan a flawless date for that special valentine when allergies and asthma can get in the way. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year, and about 26 million suffer from asthma. That means cupid’s bow is bound to hit someone who suffers from allergies or asthma.

Chocolates and flowers are lovely, but not if they cause an allergic response. You need to be vigilant when it comes to giving gifts to someone with allergies.

Here are some tips to consider as you plan your romance this holiday:

Yum! Wait...

Most people know that those with peanut allergies can have severe allergic reactions to anything that nuts touch. But the most common food allergens also include eggs, milk, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. If you’re baking or cooking for Valentine’s Day, make sure your sweetheart is okay with the ingredients. If you’ll be dining out at a special restaurant – especially one you’ve never been to before – call ahead to make sure food allergies can be accommodated by the kitchen. You’ll be a romantic hero for the night.

Ooh, ooh that smell!

Some people have a response to strong fragrances – think perfume and cologne. It is generally a reaction to odors created by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can cause headaches, sneezing, watery eyes, and runny noses. If your loved one doesn’t wear perfume, it’s probably for a reason, and maybe that’s a gift you should avoid this year.

A wed wose - how womantic!

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like red roses. And for those allergic to plant pollen, it turns out that roses and some other plants produce very little or no pollen. Other “allergy-friendly” plants include begonia, cactus, clematis, columbine, crocus, daffodil, and geraniums.

You shouldn’t have! Really...

If you’re ready to pull out the big guns – jewelry – make sure your sweetheart isn’t allergic to the metals contained in some jewelry, particularly nickel. Nickel is found in many metal products, such as jewelry, zippers and buttons. Even chrome-plated objects and 14K and 18K gold contain nickel that can irritate the skin if the gold gets moist.

Pucker up – with care!

Believe it or not, there’s something called a “kissing allergy” – most commonly found in people who have food or medication allergies. Symptoms include swelling of the lips or throat, rash, hives, itching, and wheezing after kissing a partner who’s been exposed to what you’re allergic to. So 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.
 
Whatever your choices for wooing your loved one this Valentine’s Day, make sure it’s a gift that’s safe and allergy-free.

Not sure exactly what’s making your symptoms act up? Here at MASA, we can help ease your suffering by identifying allergy or asthma triggers and prescribing treatment. Call us at 309-452-0995 or 217-717-4404 to book your appointment today! 

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