Traveling with chemical Asthma

I am a severe Asthmatic with perfume, cologne and chemical triggers. I really like traveling, going to concerts and sometimes just going out to dinner but unfortunately people love to where colognes and some hotel rooms are musty so they use lots of sprays such as Febreeze or the plug in air freshners. My husband and I have had to walk out of concerts after we had paid for really nice seating. Even at an outside baseball game or Drum corp show we have had to give up seats on the 50 yard line to go and sit in the nose bleed section just to be away from people loaded with colognes. Does anyone have any info on any type of mask that can filter air that is portable? I have tried the paper type mask respirators that people use when doing construction and have found them to work for mold but not for perfumes and colognes. Please share if you know of anything.

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I am so interested in your post as I suffer in the same way. Shopping is a nightmare too!

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Jessica thank you for replying to my post. Even going to church is no longer an option. I wish that people knew that 30% of the population is affected at some level by chemical irritants maybe they wouldn't wear so much cologne! Or maybe they need to see one of us gasping for air in an emergency room all day or being vented to breathe. Until then I am going to continue to live and see everything I can. My husband and I want to go on a cruise and I want to see a castle in Europe so I want to find something that I can use if I am in a crowd somewhere.

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I have gotten pneumonia every time I have flown for the past ten years. This year I wore a simple paper mask and requested wheel chair so I didn't breathe to heavily and I am fine. I just went to a meeting in someone's home and they were using plug in air fresheners. I removed them all and aired out the house before the meeting. It amazes me that some commercial banquet facilities feel the need to use plug-ins. Interestingly, real fragrances, cinnamon, rosemary, orange, floral, etc. do not bother me.

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I agree with the natural scents. I usually do ok but I can't have real flowers in the house. I love lilacs and lillies of the valley but I can't even have those in the yard. I think the places that use plugins that surprises me the most are doctors offices and even hospitals. I have already been taken to the emergency room because my lungs have shut down and the person who is working on me is wearing perfume or cologne. I have heard my husband saying in the background that they have to get away from me before they kill me. You would think that anywhere medical would be safe but it is not.

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I am so interested in all your comments. I too have no problems with 'natural' perfumes. Why people feel the need to put on so much scent just to do their food shopping for instance is beyond me! In shopping malls its even worse with the shops, sales staff & customers all adding to the mix! I will definately try a mask in future. Are the ones that you see cyclists sometimes wear any good? Also clothes washing powders anybody found a really good one? As with toiletries I find even supposedly odourless products still have some smell. I don't have any answers, I tend to try to keep away from smells or 'bite the bullet' and try to minimise contact. Any help so I could be more pro-active would be great.

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ps I would also like to mention scented candles they are the bain of my life. In England every where smells of them these days! Especially at Christmas!

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Jessica I have found with laundry soap that the new "Tide" unscented with the note "Dermatolgist approved" works good for me. The old "Cheer" worked well for years but in the past couple of years they changed it and I no longer can use it. An elderly lady once told me 30+ years ago to add about a cup of white distilled vinegar to my laundry washing cycle. She said it would help the action of the soap, freshen your clothes but also seperate the soap from staying with the fabric. To this day I won't do wash without it, the vinegar works wonderfully! I have found that you want to use the cheapest vinegar you can find, an off-brand. Vinegars like "Heinz" are wonderful but too strong to be using. You will find that you cannot smell the vinegar in your clothes, the clothes will be softer and smell fresher. I have been using "Bounce unscented" dryer sheets for softening in the clothes dryer. They do have a smell but I can tolerate it in my clothes. When I first buy a new box of it, I have to keep the box in a plastic bag until I have had it open and used some of the dryer sheets.
I used to love going for a walk with my husband and our Lab "Buddy" but I no longer can do that because of people drying their clothes. They use very strong fabric softener and the dryer exhaust spews that odor and chemical out in the air and I can't breathe to walk down the sidewalk.
I totally agree with the Shopping malls especially around Christmas! The scented candles and now the liquid candles are so hard to breathe. One of the stores uses a scent that they spray on all of their clothes before they are hung on the racks. I cannot even go in that part of the mall. I have been doing most of my Christmas shopping on-line these days but I miss going shopping with my daughters and granddaughters.
As far as hand soaps and creams, I just use anything that declares itself unscented. In some cases I can't use them so I have to try another. I do however like the Neutrogena products and the unscented Vaseline Intensive Care lotion.

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I use All Free detergent and Bounce fabric softener sheets. I had never put the vinegar in with the detergent, I added it during the rinse cycle. I will try that, Amiesaa. I have not yet broken it to my kids that I cannot visit at Christmas. They use scented fabric softener in everything and enjoy scented candles.

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I am so sorry Gywn about Christmas. It is hard for others to understand. I guess the only way that I have been able to describe it to people is: it is like being held under water but I was not allowed to take a breath first. Most people remember when they were kids playing at the pool and someone pushed them under water and they couldn't breathe. That said, I had to leave my one daughters house on my grandsons birthday on Nov. 10th because she lit a candle in the bathroom after I was there. My other daughter had a birthday party for my granddaughter on Nov. 9th and I had to leave abruptly because her teenage cousin walked in loaded with perfume. My husband is wonderful and never gets upset when we have to leave suddenly but I feel like an outsider everytime.

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Thank you so much arniesaa and gwynbesner for your replies, something to work on here. Print is another of my problems, mainly glossy magazines & wrapping paper. My family have now been told that I am not wrapping their presents from now on,, going to try to find suitable paper bags and be artistic. well thats the plan.... Have a good day one & all!

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It is really interesting that print bothers you! We had to stop getting the newspaper about 3 years ago. I used to enjoy going through all the ads that you get on the weekend for the following week but I would get all congested. A friend told me that her mother puts her newspaper in the oven and bakes it and then she can read it. I haven't tried that. I can get the paper on the internet and that works for me. I can read magazines though.

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Does anyone have a problem with wood burning? I can't go to anyone's house where they burn wood for heat or be at someone's cottage where they have an outside firepit. I think it might be my allergy to mold but I was curious if anyone else had the issue.

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When traveling always look for pure allergy friendly rooms.
They are in every major market. Their purifiers are rates as a class two medical device
And they have a charcoal bank that removes VOCs. You can't find a better treated
Hotel room. Check out www.pureroom.com!!

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Thank you BackwardMan for sharing that. I travel a lot and only two of my cities were listed in Michigan. I will have to just go early smell the room and then bring in my Hepa filter and sheets, pillow and quilt for now.

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Yes I find wood burning stoves a problem as are bonfires. In England we have Guy Fawkes night (5th November) where literally the whole country has bonfires and fireworks. As this happens in our autumn, the next day the air is so thick & foggy. Very bad for breathing and as the air creeps indoors it is a nightmare. Luckily a wind usually picks up & eventually blows the pollution away. I also have problems with steamy atmospheres such as bathrooms. I reckon that with poorly lungs, we need all the fresh air we can get. In polluted, steamy air etc the oxygen levels are lower & our breathing suffers. However with chemicals, print etc they restrict the airways so we can not breath so easily. Have I got this right? I don't know.

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I think you have it right. When I used to travel alot for work I would go down to Mobile AL and their heat & humidity is horrible in the summer. I found that very difficult to breathe at times. I live in Upper Michigan in the states and the air is usually pretty good.

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Do you know if they have pure rooms on cruise ships? We really want to take a cruise, I have never gone on one.

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I did some research on the cyclist masks and in the end ordered a mask that is recommended by the asthma foundation. I am really excited to try it out. Thanks for the idea.

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I have not found pure rooms on any cruise lines yet. U should ask for them to let them know there's a demand for them. Hotels r catching on but very slowly.

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Thanks, I will make sure to ask Norwegian cruise line for a pure room.

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