A Shot That Helps People Who Are Allergic To Animals The Nose Knows – Allergies to Scents

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The Nose Knows – Allergies to Scents

Have you ever stepped into a crowded elevator, inhaled a whiff of fragrance, and suddenly found yourself struggling to breathe? If this has happened to you, you are probably sensitive to fragrances and chemicals. Since these triggers are all around us, it is difficult to avoid unpleasant reactions. It is estimated that between 15 and 30 percent of Americans are allergic to some everyday chemicals. Among asthma sufferers, 72% report that perfumes and colognes trigger attacks. Find out where these allergens are hiding and how to protect yourself.

How can I be allergic to fragrances?

Allergies to fragrances occur because fragrances are made up of many different chemicals. Perfumes, for example, are complex mixtures of animal and plant products and natural and inorganic compounds. Unfortunately, perfume and cologne are not the only problem for people with chemical allergies. Fragrances are found in a multitude of everyday products. Items such as lotion, soap, laundry detergent, makeup, cleaning products, and candles often contain artificial fragrances.

When you inhale odors from any of the above items, the chemicals reach receptors in your nose, eyes, mouth, face, and airways. The body absorbs scents through the air, but contact between the skin and a scented item can also cause allergic reactions. In fact, after nickel, fragrances are the most common contact allergens.

Allergies to fragrance products are often problematic because it is almost impossible to pinpoint the specific ingredient that caused the reaction. Sometimes, people react negatively to products, such as a detergent, even after using it for years. It is thought that one instance of exposure to a large amount of an irritant (for example, spilling it on your hands) can make you more sensitive when exposed to small amounts.

The problem of allergic reactions to fragrances has increased in recent years. This is most likely due to the increase in fragrance products on the market and more frequent use by the average person. In the past, perfume or cologne could be worn on a special occasion. Now, people often apply perfume on a daily basis in addition to items like body lotion and hairspray. Asthma rates have risen steadily since the 1970s, perhaps largely due to increased production and use of aromatic products.

How to deal with chemical allergies

When it comes to fragrance allergies, avoiding triggers isn’t always easy. Public places such as malls, restaurants, and libraries are crowded with people who may be wearing scented items. If you suffer from severe asthma attacks or allergic reactions, see your doctor or allergist for the best treatment to suit your needs. If you work in an office, managers and human resources personnel are likely to be open to your health needs. Many offices and schools have policies that discourage the use of perfumes and strong scents.

Since it can be difficult to determine the specific causative chemicals, buy natural cleaners, soaps, and cosmetics labeled “fragrance-free.” Even products labeled “unscented” may contain fragrances intended to mask an unpleasant odor. Often your dermatologist or doctor can recommend specific brands that are safe for allergy and asthma sufferers. If you have a skin reaction to a chemical, keep the area clean and dry and treat it with corticosteroid cream or see your doctor.

Since odors are in the air, they can circulate through ventilation ducts and air conditioning systems. Make sure your home or office is equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that is replaced regularly. These highly effective filters were designed for medical and industrial use, but are now widely used to remove allergens from the air in the home as well.

Protecting against chemical allergies can be daunting in today’s world. Although it seems like potential triggers are everywhere, it is possible to minimize your risk. Understanding individual symptoms and triggers and discussing treatments with your doctor will prepare you for any future allergic reactions. Reading product labels and sharing your concerns with friends and co-workers will help you live a healthy life every day.

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