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How you can help allergy sufferers

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Usually it’s worse in the fall; but sometimes it’s bad in the spring as well.  For those of us with allergies, the flowers that bloom and the pollen that swirls are like poison darts in the air that attack our nasal passages, bronchial tubes and lungs.

For me, as for most folks that suffer allergies, there are other triggers beyond those found naturally in the environment. For me, those triggers are fragrances in make-up, deodorant and hair spray and of course particularly those in perfumes and aftershaves.  Those plug-in deodorizers and bathroom spray air fresheners can be almost lethal.

Other triggers are cigarette smoke, not just while you are smoking, but in your clothes, your furniture, your drapes– even the hand towel you leave in the bathroom.

For some people, paint may smell fresh and clean.  For me, some types can be dangerous.

My mother had allergies too.  She died in 1973, long before modern law diminished smoking in public. Perhaps she would have been healthier and able to get out more if she had lived in our day instead of hers.

So I have a little better situation than my mother did, but there are still plenty of times when I suffer from things in the air that could be prevented.

Allergy and Asthma  Sufferer

I despair of ever teaching my neighbor that when she needs a ride to work with me she should forego the fragrance.  Co-workers often smell so good I can’t stand them.  My work sometimes involves waiting on the general public.  There are occasions when a customer walks in and my lungs scream “Cat” because when I’m around cats I get a particular feeling in my chest that I can clearly recognize.

Of course, I know that I will never escape all of my allergy triggers. Interacting with the world around me means I will from time to time come in contact with people who are carrying around cat or dog dander on their clothing.  I will walk through stores and pass perfume counters where sample puffs are being sprayed and I will encounter other customers who are drenched in some wonderful scent.  I can’t ask people to change their lives because of people like me.

However, when it comes to my church and my workplace, I do feel like my condition should be taken into consideration.  I think that people who know me well should remember that what smells good to them might well be hazardous for me.  You should also remember that, while sometimes a trigger might not bother the allergy sufferer too much, when there are other triggers around as well they might be seriously affected.

If you are aware that someone like me works in your office or attends your church, sorority meeting or whatever, consider NOT wearing perfumes or aftershaves when they will be around.  It’s a consideration that your allergic acquaintance may not even notice but I can assure you, if you do wear strong fragrances, he or she will definitely notice that constriction in their chest as they “enjoy” how good you smell.

Allergy Sufferer 

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