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The Sweet Smell of a Perfume Allergy
By Grant Segall
Ah….the sweet, smell of perfume! Today’s market is flooded with hundreds and hundreds of different fragrances ranging from floral to woodsy. Most women love the smell of perfume, wearing it even when going to the grocery store. The problem is that perfume for some women, is anything but nice.

Keep in mind that a perfume is not limited to the woman who wears it. For some people, men and women, just being around someone wearing perfume can have a devastating effect. Even regular household cleansers, air fresheners, fabric softener, scented candles, potpourri, hair spray, and shampoo can produce the same reaction. Although the smell of perfume might trigger a headache or rash, the more severe problem is a full-blown asthma attack.

Having a perfume is not something new. Unfortunately, many people are affected by the smell of perfume, especially when in a confined space. For instance, individuals working in an office environment might not have a choice but to be around someone wearing perfume. In this case, the only real solution is to request those individuals to stop wearing perfume to work (some may) or to ask if your desk can be seated in a different area. The problem is that not all companies are accommodating, meaning a new job must be found.

The good news is that because a perfume can produce such a serious reaction as asthma or an anaphylactic shock, you will find a number of products now on the market that are fragrance free. Many of these items are found in organic stores although traditional grocery stores are now trying to cater to all customers. Because

you cannot control who does and does not wear perfume, you have to take steps to protect yourself if you have a perfume allergy. This might include letting a job interview know, wearing a mask, or perhaps taking medication.

If you notice that you have symptoms of itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, or coughing when wearing perfume or being around other people that do then chances are you are having a reaction. Interestingly, many people have a perfume but blame it on other things, never even considering that fragrance could be the problem. Sometimes, even doctors miss a perfume simply because they are more accustomed to treating seasonal allergies, pet allergies, and other forms of allergy.

In addition, remember that while you might be allergic to some perfumes, it is possible that not all fragrances will create a reaction. The reason is that performs are made up of varying chemicals so while one chemical may trigger a reaction, other chemicals might not. Therefore, it is important that you pay attention to your surroundings, taking note if you can pinpoint these symptoms specific to fragrance.

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