With warmer weather and longer days, most people want to get out there and travel. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting at the beach without a worry in the world. However, as someone who suffers from asthma, you may be anxious and worried about dealing with symptoms or having an attack when you’re away from home.
Luckily there are all sorts of things you can do to minimize the risk of asthma complications. Here are 6 tips for managing your condition when you’re on the go.
1. Keep Your Medication Handy
Since symptoms or an attack can happen at any time, it’s crucial that you have your asthma medication handy at all times. No matter if you’re leaving home for an overnight trip or a week-long vacation, you want to have easy access to both your quick-relief medication, like a rescue inhaler, as well as any long-term medication that your doctor has prescribed, like Proair HFA.
Pack these items in your purse or your carry-on bag if you’ll be traveling by air. This way there are no obstacles to accessing and using your medication in the event of an emergency.
2. Bring a Portable Nebulizer
Just as you likely purchase travel size shampoo and soap, you’ll also want to travel size your asthma treatment as much as possible. When on the road, you know the odds are slim to none that you’ll be able to easily transport a full-sized nebulizer.
Instead of dealing with this headache, invest in a portable nebulizer that is small but still effective in the event of asthma troubles. Some machines can be plugged into a cigarette lighter to charge!
If you’re unable to find a portable nebulizer, the next best option is to bring an inhaler with a spacer. This can be almost as effective as a nebulizer.
3. Know Your Triggers
If allergies contribute to your asthma symptoms, it’s important to be well aware of your specific triggers. A trip to an allergist will solidify what you’re allergic to. Be sure to make note of these allergies and be very careful with them when traveling.
For example, if you’re allergic to pet dander, you may want to ask about the airline’s policy on accommodations that can be made for you if a pet is traveling on the plane. Be aware that most planes do have some pet dander on them, even if a pet isn’t flying, because dander is often in clothing.
By knowing your triggers, you can work ahead of time to minimize your exposure.
4. Bring Documentation
Documentation is especially important if you’re traveling abroad. Be sure to bring medical documentation that states your condition as well as any prescriptions that you’re taking. If you use any medical equipment, having a doctor’s note will help make the travel process a little less of a hassle.
Aside from foreign travel, documentation is also important if you’re traveling on your own. Since those around you may not understand your condition or the medications you need, being able to provide information in the event of an emergency is important.
5. Consider the Environment
Asthma can be triggered by all sorts of factors. One factor that may people don’t think about is a change in altitude. If you live in the Midwest and are headed elsewhere, the dramatic change in air pressure can be quite taxing on your lungs. As an asthmatic, you may want to avoid going above 5,000 feet to minimize the risk of an attack.
Other factors to consider include air quality and local allergens and pollution. If you’re sensitive to smoke, you’ll want to avoid old bars as well as smoking sections of the hotel. For allergens and air pollution, read up on the weather where you’re headed and make note of any outdoor air quality issues.
6. Bring Extras
Even if you’re only traveling for a few days, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Bags can be easily lost when traversing through an airport just as an inhaler can be easily left somewhere.
Always pack an extra inhaler as well as an extra dosage of any medication you may be taking. In the event that you lose a bag or misplace an inhaler, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you packed two of everything.
Traveling with asthma may take a little more preparation than others, but this doesn’t mean that your condition has to hold you back from seeing the world! If you’re preparing to head off on vacation or a business trip, be sure to keep these 5 tips in mind to ensure you’ve done everything possible to minimize the risk of dealing with asthma symptoms.
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