Five asthma triggers that can kill the love this Valentine’s Day

13 Feb 2019
Valetine's Day

Show them you care this Valentine’s Day by helping them avoid and manage their asthma triggers

The Asthma Society is encouraging people with asthma and their loved ones to be considerate of asthma triggers to remain safe on the most romantic day of the year. Asthma deaths are on the rise and a potentially fatal asthma attack is the last thing anyone wants on Valentine’s Day.

Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society, said: “It’s Valentine’s Day – we all want to be loved up and appreciated. We all deserve that little bit of spoiling from partners, family and friends. However, some of the traditional gifts that are given on Valentine’s Day, or some of the seasonal factors, can be asthma triggers and can have harmful effects for some people with asthma.

If you or your partner has asthma, you really need to take triggers seriously and avoid them or manage them properly.

We have created a list of some of the most common triggers around Valentine’s Day and some top tips on how to reduce their risk of causing asthma symptoms – we want to save your romantic evening from any disruptive asthma symptoms. Sadly, more than one person dies in Ireland every week from asthma and 90% of these deaths are preventable.”

  1. Sex:

Like any other form of physical exercise, sex can be a trigger for people with asthma. Your partner may need to use their inhaler if asthma symptoms occur during sex and it is important that you make them feel ok to do so.

  1. Perfume/Cologne:

A traditional present on Valentine’s Day, although these will make your other half smell lovely, they can be extremely harmful to people with asthma and can cause an asthma attack. Consider fragrance-free gifts if the person in your life has asthma.

  1. Scented candles

Scented candles can create an ambience which is perfect around Valentine’s Day, but they also can be a trigger for people with asthma. Instead of buying scented candles, use non-scented candles and LED candles instead as they will also provide a romantic glow.

  1. Smoke from fireplaces:

A roaring fire can be very romantic – we all want a cuddle in cosy surroundings. However, the smoke caused by burning fuel can cause a person’s asthma to escalate. If possible, try to avoid these fumes completely this Valentine’s Day. If you must have a fire, use smokeless fuel and sit away from the fire to avoid asthma symptoms.

  1. Emotions:

We want you to have “all the feelings” - emotions tend to be very high on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day can be stressful, exciting or overwhelming, any of which can be a trigger for asthma symptoms. Have all the feelings but none of the breathlessness by ensuring that your partner’s asthma is in control.

For anyone who needs advice on managing their asthma triggers at Valentine’s Day or during the colder season, the Asthma Society runs a free Asthma and COPD Adviceline. Users can call us on 1800 44 54 64 to speak to a respiratory nurse who can help you manage your asthma triggers and all other aspects of asthma and COPD management. The service is free and can put people back in control of their asthma or COPD.


For those who would like to spread a little love this Valentine’s Day. Text “BREATHE” to 50300 to donate €4 to support the person with asthma in your life.