Fragrances limit Bittan’s life
“Scent is often associated with something positive. “What you smell good” and so on. For Bittan Lagerman this word now got another, more negative connotation.
– It has crept in over several years, says Motala woman who gets sick of scent from perfumes and perfumed hygiene products, detergents and fabric softeners.
– I get terribly hoarse and could barely talk. And I get a tightness in the chest so that it becomes hard to breathe.
Bittan sought help from a health center in the spring. When she said she suspected that her complaints had to do with scent she did not get much sympathy. – I started to do research myself online. And so I took notes on when I become poor and what I did when I was there.
Eventually she come to the ear nose throat clinic in Linköping and on to the Allergy Centre and where an investigation has begun. – They think I may have SHR says Bittan.
SHR stands for sensory hyperreactivity, ie, respiratory symptoms triggered by chemicals or fragrances.
Bittan had to change her life. The apartment is empty of scented candles, perfumed detergents and ditto personal care products. As long as she stays at home is fine, but outside, it is more difficult to guard myself, she says. – It is not easy to avoid smells. It may be enough that I pass someone who is perfumed when I’m out on the town. Everyday things like grocery shopping also involves problems. – I am looking to tell the store Maxi where I shop and ask them to move the detergent and fabric softener in the back of the store so you do not go past them when to have other things. It’s probably more than me reacting.
She believes that life has become limited. – Before, I was, for example, out a lot and listened to music. It is not longer possible. Scent Hypersensitivity is a hidden disability, it is not visible.
Working life looks not the same as before. Up until the beginning of September Bittan was working in Fria Intermiliaskolans student restaurant. When it did not work, she received the help of the employer to change positions and now runs the bus pick up and leave the school’s younger students before and after the school day. – The children have not perfume in the same way as adults, but sometimes I react to their clothes.
Bittan says that not only smells, but stress can trigger symptoms at times. It turns out when it’s time to take a photo for the article, something she does not feel comfortable with. In a single second, she becomes terribly hoarse and starts breathing heavily. – This is how I sound when it strikes, she says.
Professor Eva Millqvist is an expert in smell sensitivity
– It is enough with small doses to the suffering of fragrance sensitization to feel bad, she says, and believes that there probably is a connection between scent sensitivities and way of life in Western society. Eva Millqvist gives an example of a trend that worries her.
– It is becoming common for hotels and malls have scent machines. This means that some can no gain access there. Eva Millqvist mean persons with fragrance hypersensitivity may be excluded from areas of social life.
– You can make the comparison with movement disabilities. For them increases the availability by building wheelchair ramps and so on. It is of course great, but the availability of odor hypersensitivity have diminished.
There is currently no effective treatment for hypersensitivity to fragrances. – Not yet, but I researched quite a lot on it.
How is the knowledge of fragrance sensitization in health care? – Very mixed. In some places have great understanding and know what it is about, others do not seem to have a clue. But I do feel that the knowledge has increased.
Do you have any advice to give the victims? – Dare to speak with the surroundings, do not sneak around the problem. ”
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Sounds like Bittan got it like me, she got SHR and I got asthma and we experience the same problem and issues. It sucks when the society shut us out with their fragrancing and pollution of the air we all shall breathe. We share the air and we want and need only fresh air without man-made additives.
And I agree with professor Eva Millqvist, do talk about it. If everyone sits alone suffering in silence not talking about it no one will ever know the problem nor the pain you have, and there will never be any chanse for a change in the society we live in.
Fragrance use have become as big of a problem as smoking used to be in the modern society some years ago, and in some countries still is, and we need to get it out there. We need to make people know.
Fragrance is not cool and it is not socially accepted. Fragrance exclude people from work and social life.
Source and read more:
What is SHR?
The term sensory hyperreactivity (SHR) has only been used in the past ten years and involves sensitivity to scents and chemicals with symptoms localized mainly to the eyes and respiratory tract.
SHR is easy to confuse with asthma and allergies which can lead to inaccurate information and medication.
Approximately one-third of the adult population experience some form of discomfort triggered by scents and chemicals.
Approximately six percent of the adult population is estimated to have diagnosed SHR and 70 percent of them are women.
Research shows that the use of scented and fragrance added substances steadily increasing.
Eva Millqvist, professor and consultant at Sahlgrenska University Hospital