If you are asthmatic and are planning a trip, speak with your GP before hand to discuss any queries you may have, to make sure you are prepared and know to keep your health at it’s best. While you are speaking with you GP, you may also want to check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight and general fitness.
Sort out your supplies and equipment
After speaking with your GP, make sure he/she makes a prescription for you, for your medication to last throughout your holiday, with extra in case of emergencies. You should also ask your GP to write a letter, stating your condition in case any local authorities ask for more information. You may also want to discuss a plan to stick to if you find your asthma becomes more severe while you are away, which can commonly happen. Because of this, you should also have with you suitable medication for the strongest attack you have had, in case you need to use it again. This is as a precaution.
You may also want to invest in an identification bracelet, so if you need medical assistance while on your trip, those treating you will know you are asthmatic and treat you accordingly.
Make sure you have a spare inhaler with you, and carry one with you where ever you go. Keep the spare inhaler somewhere else, such as in the hotel room. This is a good idea in case you loose your handbag containing the inhaler, at least you will know you have another at your accommodation.
If you feel unwell, take regular peak flow readings and compare this to your normal rate. It is important that you seek medical attention if your condition deteriorates while you are away.
Pollution can easily irritate the chest and can bring on more chronic asthma attacks. It may be worth looking into the area you are visiting, to make sure pollution levels aren’t too high. This is more common within cities rather than tourist areas.
Altitude can also effect asthmatics. When travelling at a high altitude, some patients find the cold, dry air irritates their chest and makes their asthma worse, while others find their asthma is improved, since there are away from toxins, allergens and dust. If you have not flown before, you won’t know how the altitude will effect you, if at all. But remember not to panic if you do suffer an asthma attack, as it is quite normal.
If you are aware you have certain allergies, make sure you try to avoid them as much as possible. A common allergy is that of feathers, which can be found in some pillows. In this case it may be worth speaking to your accommodation provider, and requesting different pillows instead.
Others can develop serious reaction to insect bites or stings. If this is the case for you, you should mention this when speaking with your doctor. They may be able to prescribe some medication, such as Epipen, in case of an emergency.