Retailers know that one surefire way to get to us is through the nose—particularly during the holiday season. More than ever, Americans are buying up scented items like air spritzers and candles. But for those with fragrance allergies, this can add some very uncomfortable elements to the holidays.
Symptoms of fragrance allergies include:
- Hay fever (runny nose, sneezing)
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Headaches and dizziness
- Atopic dermatitis (hives, eczema, etc.)
- Respiratory problems (wheezing, asthma, etc.)
Many reactions will last only as long as a person is exposed to a particular fragrance, but for some people, the reactions linger longer.
There is a spectrum of sensitivity to fragrances with some people being merely irritated by the fragrances (“irritant reaction”) and others having full-blown allergic reactions. It is not known exactly what causes people to be allergic to fragrances, but it is likely caused by the body’s overreaction to various chemicals in the fragrance. Note that some fragrances are a cocktail of more than 200 different chemicals!
Avoiding reaction-causing fragrances can be tricky. Removing them from your own home may not be a big deal, but you can’t always control the environment around you. It may require you to change work stations or excuse yourself from holiday parties where scents may be particularly overwhelming.
If your quality of life is being affected by frequent allergic reactions, consider allergy treatment. Contact the Family Allergy Clinic for more information about painless, hassle-free allergy drops.