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Cigarette smoke, pet dander, and extreme weather are some of the most common asthma triggers. But for some, walking through a fragrance section or cleaning product aisle can be just as dangerous and sometimes medications like Advair Diskus are not enough.
If commonplace scents trigger your asthma symptoms, it may seem like becoming a shut-in is the only way to avoid the smell of laundry detergent or a fresh spritz of perfume. This can be especially difficult for anyone who works in customer service or in constant contact with members of the public.
Are you an asthmatic who struggles with flares caused by fragrance? These tips for dealing with irritants and asthma triggers will help you breathe easier without barricading yourself at home.
1. Nasal Air Filters
Tiny filters designed to be worn in or on your nose are the latest innovations in keeping symptoms at bay. Nasal air filters aim to keep pollutants and irritating particles from entering your respiratory tract and can be useful for people with allergies or anyone trying to reduce the likelihood of catching an airborne illness.
There are quite a few versions of nasal air filters available for purchase. Some are inserted directly into the nose while others are adhesive and meant to be stuck over each nostril. If you’re looking for nasal filters specifically to block out smells, choose a brand with activated charcoal or another odor absorber.
Nasal air filters have interesting applications for certain occupations and people with very severe allergies. Some brands may be too noticeable to wear in a customer service position, especially if you don’t want to field questions about them all day. 
2. Air Purifiers
Using a high-quality purifier designed to remove allergens and odors from the air can make your work environment more hospitable. They may not be able to prevent an immediate reaction when a strong fragrance comes into the workspace, but filters will help remove lingering scents from the area.
This solution may require workplace approval and can become expensive if it’s up to you to provide your own air purifier and replace filters. If other employees who suffer from scent sensitivity you may be able to share the costs of keeping your workplace air cleaner.
3. Essential Oils
Another way to block out potential irritating smells is with a scent that you know doesn’t trigger your asthma symptoms. Tea tree oil in particular has a strong scent that many people enjoy, and a few drops mixed in with carrier oil or petroleum jelly can be dabbed under the nose to help block out asthma triggers. Stick to using oils that you know won’t trigger your symptoms, and be sure to have rescue medication on hand just in case. 
4. Use a Fan
Carrying a handheld fan can help to blow scents away from you in a crowd while positioning a fan behind you at work keeps irritants away from you throughout the day. Looking for a hands-free way to repel scents? There are even necklace fans designed to provide you with easy airflow anywhere you go.
5. Wear a scarf
Asthmatics triggered by cold environments already know about using a scarf to protect lungs from the harsh winter air. Incorporating a lighter scarf as part of your everyday outfit can give you something to breathe into when you encounter an irritating scent. This might not be a great long-term solution for your workday, but it’s helpful in brief encounters with strong smells.
6. Chewing Gum
For scents that create mild irritation, chewing a piece of gum may mask the smell. Some asthma may actually be triggered by scents like mint, so be sure to choose a type of gum that you’ve used before. Chewing gum may not be appropriate in all work settings, and hard candy usually works as a more subtle alternative. 
These tricks can help keep reduce the impact that asthma irritants have on your day, but won’t take the place of daily maintenance or rescue medications. If you’re looking for ways to cut costs while you protect your health, use CanadaPharmacyDepot.com to buy asthma inhalers at discounts of up to 80%. Search for your medications at an online Canadian pharmacy, and start managing asthma symptoms for less.
The content provided in this article is based on thorough research and in some cases, reviewed by a medical professional. Our goal for the information is to provide helpful, general health informational. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice.