Should perfume-wearers be more considerate of asthma sufferers?

Should perfume-wearers be more considerate of asthma sufferers?
Should perfume-wearers be more considerate of asthma sufferers? Photo credit: Getty

A Brisbane woman thinks people on the train shouldn't wear so much perfume as it flares up her asthma. 

Melody O'Brien took to a Facebook community group to voice her annoyance of fellow train passengers who wear too much perfume. In the post she suggests train-goers should think about asthma sufferers before they apply so much perfume.  

"I am asking you all to please consider how much perfume you wear as I am sure many are unaware how badly it affects others who suffer from asthma, allergies, etc," she wrote in the post. 

"In such a confined space as sitting next to you on a train, it can set off one's asthma. I am writing this now as I was enjoying my train ride to work until a lady beside me wearing a very strong perfume," she added. 

Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airways. It's a condition in which a person's airways become inflamed, narrow and swell and produce extra mucus, which can make it difficult to breathe. 

Over 521,000 people take medication for asthma in New Zealand, according to the Asthma Respiratory Foundation NZ - this includes an estimated one in seven children and one in nine adults. 

Currently there is no cure for asthma, and it appears to be most common in English speaking countries like New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States - perhaps a result of changes to diet, environment or exposure to some infections. 

In Australia, one in nine suffers from asthma, according to a report by Asthma Australia. 

Substances such as perfumes, cigarette smoke and other odours can trigger asthma symptoms, the National Asthma Council Australia says, including coughing, wheezing and having a tight chest. 

"I will be reaching for Ventolin for the rest of day now," Ms O'Brien said.   

Salbutamol, also known as Ventolin among other names, is a medication that opens up the medium and large airways in the lungs. It is used to treat asthma including asthma attacks.

"Please think of others, thank you," Ms O'Brien concluded.