Atlanta Allergy & Asthma News

How Do Allergies and Asthma Impact Your Love Life?

Updated on Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Allergy and asthma symptoms are frustrating enough when you’re facing them on your own, but they can add a whole new layer of complexity to your life when you’re romantically involved.

Whether it’s on a first date or having a special night with your long-time love, allergies and asthma shouldn’t get in the way when you’ve been struck by Cupid’s arrow. Here’s a quick look at how symptoms could interfere with your love life, and how to keep them from ruining your romance.

Pet Allergies: No “Puppy Love” Here

You’re getting cozy with your partner, and just as you two lean in for a kiss, the sneezes come. After a quick succession of them, your nose continues to run, and then you finally spot it: the cat in the corner. If you’re among the 10 to 20% of the world’s population with pet allergies, you could be in for a not-so-fun surprise when you encounter a furry friend in your date’s home.

When you have a pet allergy, your body is reacting to proteins in an animal’s hair, dander, saliva, and urine. That means that even if your date’s pet isn’t in the room with you, the dander they’ve left behind could set your allergies off, effectively ruining your evening.

Pet allergies shouldn’t derail a relationship. After your allergist performs testing to confirm the allergy, they will discuss treatment options and suggest environmental control measures. So, don’t assume you have to part ways with a would-be love interest just because they love their fur baby, too. However, regardless of romance, remember to keep the pets out of the bedroom to reduce allergy symptoms!

Seasonal Allergies Disrupt Dates

Mild weather may make for a perfect date in the park or on the trails but think again if you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer. In many areas of the U.S., spring allergies can start as early as February. Tree pollen will emerge first, followed by grass pollens later in the spring and ragweed in the late summer and fall.

Let’s face it, a runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and congestion are not symptoms that foster romance. So, whether you are triggered by outdoor allergens like pollen, or indoor allergens like dust and mold, seeking help from an allergy expert can greatly improve your quality of life…including your love life! From oral medications to allergen immunotherapy, there are a range of treatments available to ease symptoms.

Sexual Activity as an Asthma Trigger

A recent study identified sexual activity as an underreported trigger for asthma. Although many people are aware that exercise can cause an asthma flare, they may not realize that sexual relations can fall in that category. Experts say that sex can be a strenuous activity that increases the heart rate and causes rapid breathing, which can in turn trigger an asthma flare. The best way to prevent an asthma flare during strenuous activity is to manage your asthma well at all times.

Food Allergies: Communication is Key

Oysters are often associated with a romantic date night. Consider that 8.2 million people in the U.S. are allergic to shellfish. Thinking about gifting your sweetheart a box of chocolates that contains peanuts – 6.1 million Americans have a peanut allergy. A food allergy impacts not only the person allergic, but anyone who cares for them. It certainly has an impact on relationships, especially in the beginning.

One in ten adults have a food allergy. The most common food allergens include eggs, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and sesame. Food allergy reactions are serious, can be life-threatening, and should be managed by a board certified allergist.

Here are some suggestions for dating, or beginning a new relationship, when food allergies are involved:

  • Your partner must understand and respect the seriousness of a food allergy
  • Education – the more you both know, the safer you can be
  • Kissing can be dangerous, always ask what your partner has eaten that day
  • Explore food-free dates like outdoor activities, movies, shopping or a sporting event
  • Cooking together is a great way to educate your partner and have fun while you are doing it
  • Call ahead to restaurants to make sure they can accommodate your food allergies
  • Teach your partner how to use your epinephrine auto-injector. A loving partner will make sure you always have it with you!

Skin Rashes Make Intimacy Uncomfortable

Skin conditions such as eczema (atopic dermatitis), hives, and contact dermatitis can make intimacy embarrassing, and possibly uncomfortable. There can be a number of possible causes for a skin condition. Rashes can be caused by a substance your skin comes in contact with, or a reaction to a medication or a food. When an allergen is responsible for triggering an immune system response, then it is an allergic skin condition. Your allergist can help diagnose the cause of your symptoms and prescribe treatments to help you find relief.

No matter what allergic symptoms are impacting your life, you don’t have to let them stop you from enjoying life to the fullest. Turn to Atlanta Allergy & Asthma for personalized treatment and lasting relief. Request an appointment online or by calling 770-953-3331.