Strong Odors and Asthma

Do certain fragrances and strong odors seem to make your asthma worse? If so, you’re not alone. For some people, strong odors from perfumes, household or industrial cleaners, air fresheners, and nail polishes and removers can trigger asthma symptoms.

Banner: Managing Strong Odors and Asthma

Avoiding Common Odors Is Not Easy

Many odors and fragrances are so commonplace that we encounter them almost every day, but the more of them you can identify as triggers for your asthma, the easier they’ll be to manage. Be sure to take note of the problematic odors and inform your doctor if you experience any worsening asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath or wheezing.

Did you know?

41% of people with asthma report health problems from air fresheners or deodorizers.

Icon: Odors

Odor Offenders

Numerous everyday household and workplace items include chemicals with odors that may trigger symptoms in asthma sufferers. This list includes, but is not limited to:

Household Odors:

  • Air fresheners
  • Chlorine and bleach
  • Cleaning products
  • Colognes and perfumes
  • Deodorants
  • Furniture polish
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces

Workplace Odors:

  • Adhesives
  • Carpet and flooring materials
  • Gasoline
  • Insulation
  • Paint and paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Varnishes

Tips for Managing Strong Odors & Asthma

Icon: Secondhand Smoke

Avoid secondhand smoke of any kind

Icon: Avoid Chemical Cleaners

Consider using cleaning and personal care products that are odor and fragrance free

Icon: Perfume

Ask friends and family to limit their use of perfumes

Icon: Ventilation

Make sure your home and workplace are well ventilated