“That candle-lit dinner at your favorite restaurant may not be possible this year,” says allergist Luz Fonacier, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACCAI). “But while dinner and dancing might not happen, there’s no reason you can’t find ways to show love for your special someone who suffers from allergies or asthma. After all, letting someone know you’ve thought about what makes them happy is the most romantic gesture of all.”
Following are five suggestions from ACAAI to help you “up” the passion quotient while dialing down risks of COVID-19, and allergy and asthma symptoms.
- Dinner at home this year – What could be more romantic than cooking for your beloved – especially if it is a favorite meal and you are careful to avoid any foods to which they might be allergic? Get inspired and start researching recipes now. There are numerous websites that feature allergen-free recipes. Many restaurants are still delivering, so you can even splurge and order an exceptional meal for your special someone.
- Flowers are good! – The tried-and-true gift of flowers on Valentine’s Day will work well this year because you can have any type of bouquet delivered. Be aware that some flowers are worse than others when it comes to producing the pollen that causes allergic reactions. If you stay away from daisies, goldenrod, sunflowers, and chamomile, you are probably safe. The old standby – roses – are a safe bet for those allergic to pollen. A dozen (or two!) roses should be a welcome gift for any flower lover on your list who has allergies. Remember that many types of lilies – popular in winter bouquets – are toxic to pets, so they should not be allowed in your home if you have furry family members.
- Are you the creative type? – Consider something hand-written. Have you ever written a poem or short story? Or dabbled in watercolors? Why not create something entirely unique – and clearly free of allergy or asthma triggers – for your loved one? Not everyone has a hidden artist waiting to spring forth. But if you have ever wanted to try your hand at an artistic pursuit, this may be the year to surprise your valentine with something that takes their breath away – in a good way.
- It’s not impossible to get away – If you are within a few hour’s drive of a lovely place to get away to, and can find a home for rent, you and your loved one might consider an escape for some romance. This is particularly welcome if your destination offers an activity that you can’t find in your own community, such as lovely hiking areas, skating, a quaint downtown to stroll around, and other outdoor pursuits (weather permitting). Keep some things in mind to avoid allergy and asthma flare-ups. Remember to bring all prescriptions including allergy medications, epinephrine auto injectors and asthma inhalers. If your partner is allergic to dust, consider bringing pillow and mattress covers. Early morning and late evening travel may be helpful because air quality is generally better, and traffic is lighter.
- How about something shiny? – If you are on board for a really big romantic statement, you might consider jewelry, which of course can be purchased online. Before you go that route, make sure your beloved has no allergy to the metals contained in some jewelry. Nickel can be a red flag as it is found in many metal products, such as jewelry, zippers, and buttons. Even chrome-plated objects and 14K and 18K gold contain nickel that can irritate the skin if the metal gets moist. Consider styles that will show up well on video chats.
This Valentine’s Day, 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 (romantic) 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.