Perfume & Asthma


Perfumes are everywhere. We can control them at home, but we have no way to regulate the encounters we have with various scents out in the world. This can be problematic if you have asthma or other bronchial issues. Learn to control your asthma and be aware of your interactions, unless you want to live your life with your nose in the air.

What Can Happen

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, asthma attacks are triggered by allergies to substances you breathe in. When an attack is triggered, your airways shrink and inflame, making it difficult to get air through them. You body may expel extra mucus, causing additional blockage. Symptoms of an asthma attack include feelings of suffocation or the inability to breathe. You may start wheezing or coughing.

How To Tell

Allergies causing bronchial spasms or asthma attacks can range from smoke, sprays, moisture in the air, powders or particulates. Keep a notebook in your purse or back pocket and document your reactions to certain potential allergies. Look for patterns in your reactions. If you feel a tightness in your airways and a difficulty breathing whenever you are around someone with perfume or even your own perfume, you can make a connection between the perfume and your asthma.


Avoiding your triggers can help you keep your asthma under control. Remove perfumes from your own home first. Stop wearing it yourself, and ask your partner or children to do the same with their perfumes and colognes. You may want to mention your problem politely to close friends, coworkers and family members. Avoid sitting by people who are wearing perfume while you are on a bus, in meetings or at other gatherings. Stay close to doors or windows to allow for air movement.


Visit a doctor if you suspect you may have an asthmatic reaction to perfume. He may be able to prescribe you an inhaler medication to keep with you.


According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7 million children suffer from asthma. For this reason, you should avoid wearing perfume in groups of unfamiliar children. Unless you know the medical history of the children you are with, skip the perfume.

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