Jeff Flowers on February 9, 2016 0 Comments Valentine’s Day has so much potential to be the most romantic day of the year for love birds young and old! It is a time when couples can reminisce about their relationship, and look forward to the love that will undoubtedly come in the future. However, lurking behind the sweetest and most common gifts given on Cupid’s holiday is the potential to accidentally deliver unwanted side effects. This is especially true if you or your significant other has allergies. To help you gift the perfect gift, without the risk of an allergic reaction, we have compiled some helpful information that can ensure a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day celebration. Common Types of Allergies During Valentine’s Day, it is common to give presents to the people that you care about. This is an excellent gesture, but many of these gifts, such as flowers, candy, and jewelry, can easily cause your loved one to have an allergic reaction. For many people, this can simply amount to a small rash or sniffling, but for others, these reactions can be life-threatening. Here are three basic types of allergies to look out for this season: Food Allergies: These allergies are triggered by a specific type of food. If the food allergy is severe enough, it can even trigger a deadly condition known as anaphylaxis. While this is a bit on the extreme end of the spectrum, it is quite common and not something you want to be responsible for. Chemical Allergies: These allergies are triggered if the sufferer inhales, consumes, or comes in contact with specific chemicals or materials. These can be airborne, in food or woven into clothes. Pollen (Rhinitis): Rhinitis is an immune disorder that triggers an allergic reaction to pollen and flowering plants. Please keep in mind, this is not a complete list of potential allergic reactions. Skin and air allergies can also be triggered by cosmetics, metals, and other substances. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common Valentine’s Day gifts, and the possible health risks of giving them to your loved ones. Chocolate As crazy as it sounds, there are some people who are allergic to chocolate. Since chocolate is one of the most common gifts given on Valentine’s Day, it is important to understand the mechanism of this particular reaction. If your loved one is allergic to chocolate, he or she may experience difficulty breathing, rashes, heartburn, or headaches. This reaction is usually not caused by the chocolate itself, but the ingredients in the chocolate. Be sure to check the label if you think your loved one may be allergic to milk, nuts, eggs, or any other ingredient that may be found in processed chocolate. Nuts Nut allergies are one of the most common types of severe food allergies, and sometimes it only takes contact with nuts to cause a reaction. Peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and other nuts are frequently added to chocolate and other treats in order to enhance their flavor and texture. You may be considering giving one of these treats as a Valentine’s Day gift, but it is important to ask your partner if he or she is allergic. An allergic reaction triggered by nuts can be life-threatening, so be sure to read the label carefully! Flowers Flowers are a beautiful gift any day of the year, but there is something about Valentine’s Day that makes you crave the perfect arrangement. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for that beautiful bouquet of flowers to trigger asthma attacks, as well as a condition known as rhinitis (hay fever). If your loved one suffers from these conditions, he or she may not be able to tolerate being around flowering plants for an extended period of time. Signs of rhinitis condition include: Sneezing Coughing Stuffy nose Dark circles under the eyes Nose bleeds If your loved one is known to suffer from allergies, then it would probably be wise to forego the bouquet and opt for a different gift. However, if you still want to buy flowers for your special someone, it would be wise to seek out and choose a flower or plant that produces little or no pollen. Talk with your local florist or do some homework online to find a bouquet that will put a smile on their face, without causing them to sneeze directly afterwards. When a loved one suffers from flower allergies, storing and handling an arrangement can be difficult. To greatly reduce the chances of an allergic reaction, simply choose a flower that does not have pollen, or remove the bulb from the flowers. If you are unsure about whether or not your flowers produce pollen, place them away from your living spaces. You may want to consider buying an air purifier to help remove any pollen that may be floating around inside your home. It would also be wise to thoroughly clean up and disinfect the area the flowers were located, just to ensure that you got all of the pollen out of the house. Perfumes, Colognes, and Scented Candles Perfume, cologne, and other scented products usually make great gifts, but if you suffer from a skin allergy or are just sensitive to strong scents, these items may be the last thing on your list. Perfumes and candles contain hundreds of different chemicals, many of which can trigger an allergic reaction. These reactions can be caused by inhaling or wearing perfume and can lead to a condition known as dermatitis. Dermatitis causes extreme skin irritation, and can result in the formation of hives or blisters on the skin. If you plan to purchase scented candles or perfume this Valentine’s Day, make sure the label reads fragrance-free. Fine Jewelry Jewelry is one of the most sought-after Valentine’s Day gifts, and for many people, nothing says “I Love You” more than a gorgeous ring or necklace. There are many people who are allergic to the materials used to make jewelry, and these heartfelt gifts can sometimes cause breakouts. Before buying jewelry, you should ask your partner if he or she is allergic to gold, silver, platinum, or any other precious metal. Dining Out If you are planning to cook or take your loved one out for dinner, you should keep any food allergies and intolerances in mind. As we briefly mentioned above, food allergies can range from mild to extremely dangerous. If your partner or spouse is allergic to certain ingredients, you should read the label before heading to the checkout line, and if you decide to dine out, ask for a list of ingredients before you order. Some of the most common food allergies include: Nuts Shellfish Milk Gluten Soy Eggs Things to Remember Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time of the year, and we want nothing less for you than to add a lasting and enjoyable memory to the books. Whatever your plan for the romantic holiday, take a moment to think about known allergies your significant other may have, and double check with them if you aren’t 100% sure. Your partner should be left breathless on Valentine’s Day, but not from an asthma or allergy attack!