ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Want to say “I love you” this Valentine’s Day but you’re just not sure how? Show your valentine you can creatively keep their allergies and asthma in mind while filling the day with affection.
“Chocolates and flowers definitely do the trick on Valentine’s Day, but you can also show your loved one that you care about their health,” says allergist Todd Mahr, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “If you’re creative, and think outside the (candy) box, you can plan ways to sweep your darling off their feet and help them steer clear of sneezing and wheezing.”
Here are four tips from ACAAI to help make your Valentine’s Day special.
1. Experience the love – Does your loved one adore the theater? How about ice skating or a special museum? Do they have a favorite spa? Think about gifting an experience, rather than something they might use once or twice – or eat right away. The benefit of giving an experience is that you already know they love it, and you can steer clear of foods they might be allergic to, or elements in the air that make them sneeze. Win-win!
2. Speaking of food – If you and your beloved have been together awhile, you know their favorite foods – including the ones that don’t include anything they’re allergic to. How about delivering their favorite wheat-free pizza to work? Or ordering in their favorite allergy-free meal for a romantic night at home? Letting your loved one know you “get them” and understand the foods that keep them healthy goes a long way in persuading them to say yes when you ask to be their valentine.
3. You smell delightful, but – While you always want to smell fabulous for your sweetie, keep in mind that some people have a response to strong fragrances. 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. So not only should you avoid giving them perfume or cologne, it’s best if you don’t wear it either.
4. Knock your valentine’s socks off – then wash them – Want to really show your darling you care? Do some deep cleaning around the house. It’s not an expensive gift, but it could have a big payoff. Getting rid of allergens such as mold, cockroaches and pet dander will help your sweetheart breathe easier. Change your air filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Vacuum regularly to cut down on dust mites. Use a cyclonic vacuum, which spins dust and dirt away from the floor, or a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Wash bedding and stuffed animals weekly, and scrub bathrooms to get rid of mold.
You don’t have to spend piles of money or go to enormous lengths to show love for your valentine. Keep allergies and asthma in mind and see an allergist with any questions. An allergist can help you and your loved ones steer clear of allergy triggers. Allergists are specially trained to help you take control of your allergies and asthma, so you can live the life you want.
For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of allergies and asthma, or to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.