Joss sticks and such: Yesterday I went... - Asthma UK communi...

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Joss sticks and such


Yesterday I went to my usual yoga. The usual teacher wasn't there, instead there was a stand in, who had lit a joss stick. I had met her once before, when she had also lit a joss stick, about two hours before my class, but though I couldn't smell anything that time, I could feel there was something instantly I stepped over the threshold into the studio. I did talk to her that time afterwards. This time it was so strong, and instantly affected me uncomfortably. As my friends was at class the first time for months (following an accident) I decided to stay, and used my ventolin. But hours after I still felt the irritation, and even this morning my chest feels a tad irritated.

I also find wood stoves, at least some of them, a problem, as well as theatrical smoke of any kind. Anyone else ? And how do you us manage it, especially as it normally is not in my home space, so my decision is taken from me.

17 Replies

I usually leave ..I explain that although the perfume is lovely I have b--_---b lungs and it is making breathing difficult for me. I am too special to put up with stinky places in fact I am amazingly gorgeous 😂😂😂

I shall write down your response on a card, and bring it with me wherever I go (trying to interpret b...-...b. Plenty of scope for imagination). I like your response. And, I did email the leader last night to let her know how difficult I found it, and that I wouldn't stay another time.

I have exactly the same problems Wheezycat. Also passing the open door of one of the scented candle shops is a no no.

Wheezycat in reply to SheilaC

I have found I am much more aware of smells now, and they tend to make me hyper alert. But I don't react on all of them - so far. After shave makes me nervous. Luckily my other half does not indulge.

SheilaC in reply to Wheezycat

There is a perfume called Sunflowers which fortunately seems to be less popular now. The ladies in the office where I worked loved it and it nearly killed me. We were giving one of the ladies a lift to a social event and as she was going in our car, I thought I had the right to ask her not to use the perfume. We picked her up and I immediately could smell the perfume. I was shocked and she said she had only used a little bit!

Wheezycat in reply to SheilaC

I was going to click 'like' as I can relate to what you say, but it seems wrong for that experience.

Yesterday I was picking up a friend who had just cleaned her house with Pledge. As I was about to suggest I wait in the car we were suddenly thankfully leaving.

I have always been careful with this stuff, or at least when our daughter was young as she alsonhas asthma, but though my smell sense seems to have become sensitised now, I never before realised how difficult this can be.

I remove myself from the situation and explain that I am asthmatic and it those sort of things affect me making it harder to breathe. If its a yoga class why not ask your main instructor to speak to the stand in explaining that you are an asthmatic and the sticks badly effect you and if for that class they can refrain from using them.

In my Pilates class I gave my instructor permission to disclose my asthma to other participants when they join the class asking them to refrain from wearing strong perfumes and deodorants to class as it means I struggle to breath if they do. Everyone so far has been absolutely great about it and nobody has worn anything strong.

Its the same at work although its harder at work as there are more people coming and going, but the core group know my issue and are really good about not wearing strong stuff. I have found communicating is the key.

Wheezycat in reply to Beth_19

It was a stand in teacher, who lit the joss stick. The normal teacher never does, so generally it has been a non-issue. Nor can I imagine that the group of over fifties mainly women would have any problem at all with non-use of joss sticks. The Pledge my friend uses would be far harder to deal with, but generally it has been fine (aired out) when I visit.

Beth_19 in reply to Wheezycat

Hi, I would personally then definitely speak to your normal instructor and ask them to pass a message to all stand ins requesting for the class you attend that they abstain from lightening them. Once they know why there shouldn't be a problem and it might save you trouble breathing in the future.

Wheezycat in reply to Beth_19

I agree, and did so last Monday eve. Very much needed.

You are not alone my husband used to love those damn things lol! However I had to put pay to him lighting them when I was around as I had exactly the same problem as you Wheezycat they triggered my asthma.

I'm the same...any perfumes trigger my asthma. Very difficult to deal with. Those plug in air fresheners are the bain of my life when visiting friends! Since I've been taking Montelukast, my reaction is delayed generally, but perfumes still get me in the end. A constant problem. After a frightening reaction, I don't go out for meals on Bank Holidays anymore. Everyone dolls up in best perfumes....! And often lilies looking beautiful, but the worst of perfumed flowers for me, unfortunately. Good to know, in some ways, others struggle too. It's a lonely and unfriendly complaint!

Wheezycat in reply to Yatzy

I am sorry to hear it is so bad for you. I can't say this is as bad, but the heavy chest feeling is still with me 48 hrs later, so today, after advice from the Asthma UK nurse, I got hold of my gp and so can increase my symbicort a bit until this blows over. My pf has been fine throughout, which made me doubt my sensations, but the Asthma UK nurse told me that is normal, it is still the start of more inflammation. I have also booked myself a review with my favourite asthma nurse. I want to get on to the smart regime, so I can manage better.

RD23 in reply to Yatzy

Lilies are a killer for me too, especially pink ones, I can’t be in the same room as them.

Yatzy in reply to RD23


Wheezycat in reply to RD23

Oh, goodness! This post is two years old! And in fact nice to read as a reminder. I have never had quite such a bad reaction since, mostly, I think, because if it is something that I can feel irritating, I leave rather than hang around. There was once some inscence in a restaurant, quite faint. I took an extra puff of Symbicort, then forgot all about it. But by next day it had affected me and my peakflow. Luckily it went within a couple of days.

I think lilies are fine for me, but not sure. Need to check next lily season.

RD23 in reply to Wheezycat

Yeah inscence isn’t great for me and I avoid air fresheners and don’t go near Lush it shops like that.

I’m not as bad with white lilies, I can feel them on my chest but pink ones are a nightmare, I can instantly feel my chest tighten if I’m in the same room as lilies. I think I must have a noise like a dog! 😂

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