Birthday gift shopping can be a fun experience as you try to find the “perfect” gift for your loved one. You may have already considered their likes and dislikes. Another important factor is your loved one’s asthma.

Not keen on buying yet another generic gift card? Consider the following ideas to help choose the right gift for your loved one on their special day, instead.

When you have asthma, it’s essential to avoid your triggers as much as possible. These can include dust mites, pollen, fragrances, animal dander, and more.

Regular and thorough cleaning is an essential component of asthma care. But keeping your home completely free of triggers can be challenging. You can help your loved one with one of the following gift ideas:

  • a home weather station to predict asthma triggers, such as storms, temperature changes, and humidity levels
  • a one-time or multi-use deep cleaning service
  • high quality cotton sheets and blankets (wool and synthetics can trigger asthma and eczema symptoms)
  • washable face masks to wear during allergy and flu season
  • a dehumidifier or humidifier to help control moisture in the air that varies between seasons
  • a hygrometer to measure humidity levels at home
  • dust mite coverings for mattresses and pillows
  • a high quality vacuum with a high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter to trap allergens
  • an at-home spirometry test or peak flow meter, which can help your loved one keep tabs on their lung function between doctor’s visits

Stress can take a toll on our health in many ways. It carries even more risks for people with asthma because it increases their risk for a flare-up.

If your loved one has expressed an interest in more self-care, they may appreciate the following gifts:

  • a massage booking
  • a hand-held massage tool
  • a spa gift certificate or getaway
  • a steam bath treatment
  • a yoga class package
  • yoga equipment, such as a mat, bolster, or blocks
  • books or a gift card to a favorite bookstore
  • flameless candles
  • coloring books or other art supplies
  • journals and stationery

Gift-giving often involves tangible items, but entertainment is a great option.

A good book or movie can especially come in handy during allergy season or the cold, dry months — whenever your loved one might need to stay indoors more to avoid possible asthma flare-ups.

Consider these entertainment ideas as a starting point:

  • a gift subscription to a streaming video service
  • board games
  • gaming consoles
  • electronic or paper books
  • an e-reader
  • a gift certificate for dinner at a favorite restaurant
  • a movie theater gift certificate
  • a gift certificate to a local theater or museum
  • cookbooks or cooking tools (food items aren’t always the best choice, in case of food allergies)

Gift cards often get a bad reputation for being thoughtless. But giving a gift card ensures that your loved one will be able to get what they want and avoid their asthma triggers.

The key to the right gift card is to find one that’s thoughtful and specific to your loved one’s interests. Gift cards to movie theaters, spas, or restaurants can be good choices.

A gift certificate to a clothing store can be risky, unless you’re sure your loved one definitely shops there.

Just as important as giving the right gift for a loved one with asthma is knowing what to avoid. Although specific asthma triggers vary, here are a few general items to avoid:

  • scented candles
  • bath or body care items, including soaps, lotions, and fragrances
  • plants or flowers
  • specialty food, unless you know your loved one isn’t allergic to a specific item
  • stuffed animals and knick-knacks that tend to collect dust
  • potpourri
  • costume jewelry, which tends to contain nickel and can cause an allergic reaction
  • clothing, especially if your loved one also has eczema
  • pets of any kind

Gift-giving for a friend or relative with asthma doesn’t have to be stressful. Knowing your loved one’s asthma triggers is the first step to finding a gift that’s both useful and appreciated.

If you’re unsure whether a gift is appropriate, don’t be afraid to ask. Your loved one will likely appreciate the thoughtfulness. And remember, they’ll appreciate your care and effort no matter what you choose.