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Top Tips For Travelling With Asthma

Your holidays are a time to rest, explore and enjoy. Our tips for
travelling with asthma will help you get the most out of your trip,
whether you will be relaxing on a beach or exploring a foreign
culture.

 

How will travel affect my asthma?

Whether your asthma needs to be a major factor in your holiday
planning depends on the severity of your condition. It also depends
on what triggers your asthma symptoms. Some people with asthma find
that their condition improves during their holidays, others may
notice that it gets worse. Picking the best location for your break
will help you avoid unpleasant symptoms during your trip.

If you find that you experience asthma symptoms when the air
quality is poor or you are exposed to pollution, certain cities
(especially in the Far East) may not be suitable holiday
destinations. You may find it helpful to discuss your holidays with
your asthma nurse before you make a booking.

Things to consider:

  • Pollution – what is the air quality at your destination?
  • What are the ozone levels?
  • Temperature and weather conditions – will heat or humidity make
    your asthma worse?

Your GP or nurse can help you choose the holidays that are best
for you.

If you suffer from exercise-induced asthma, you will also need
to think about your accommodation. When you research hotels or
B&B’s you may find it helpful to consider these questions:

  • Will I have to walk a lot to get to the nearest town / the pool
    / the sea?
  • Will I have to take the stairs to reach my bedroom or the
    dining room?
  • Is the hotel located on a hill?

Find out as much as you can about your destination and your
accommodation, so you know how to get around when you arrive.

Before You Travel

With a little preparation beforehand, you can ensure that your
holidays will be the stress-free break they should be. Before you
leave, you should arrange to see your GP or asthma nurse for a
check-up. This way, you can feel confident that your condition is
controlled and you won’t need a change of your medication
while abroad. If your asthma is very severe, you may need your GP
or nurse to confirm that you are fit to fly.

It is a good idea to take:

  • contact details of your GP
  • your medical history translated into the language spoken at
    your travel destination
  • a written list of all medications you take
  • contact details of a doctor at your holiday destination

Travel Insurance

As usual, you will need to take your medication while
you’re away. It is best to take two inhalers of each kind and
take them in separate bags – just in case your luggage gets lost or
delayed. This way, you will never be without your inhaler. The same
goes for other essential medications, such as your tablets (if you
take any).

Some countries have strict rules about importing medication.
Check whether you will be able to enter the country with your
medication to avoid unnecessary stress. In some cases, you may need
to take your prescriptions with you to confirm that the medications
you carry are for your own use

If you need an additional inhaler, visit our online doctor
service for an easy way to order your asthma medication online.

Taking a nebuliser

If you are taking a nebuliser with you, you will need to check
the rules of your airline. Some airlines only permit
battery-operated nebulisers to be used on board. Don’t forget
that the sockets at your destination may be different – you may
need a travel adaptor to connect your nebuliser to the mains when
you arrive.

Immunisations

If you need any vaccines before you travel, let your travel
nurse know that you suffer from asthma. Make sure you mention if
you have recently taken steroids tablets to treat your condition.
Asthma does not usually pose a problem with regards to travel
vaccines or malaria prevention.

For more information about travelling with asthma, contact the
Asthma UK helpline on 0800 121 62 44 (the line is open
Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm). You may also find it helpful to take this
number with you, in case you have any questions while you are
abroad.

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