Being diagnosed with asthma is stressful enough, without this condition further interfering with your plans and lifestyle. Proper and efficient management of your condition should minimize the impact of asthma on your day to day activities and habits and this includes travelling, too. While there are some precautions and other things that you will have to keep in mind, you should be able to enjoy safe travelling, just like everyone else.

In this article, we will explore six different ways to ensure the safety of your journey and minimize the troubles that might stem from your condition.

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Planning ahead

The simplest and probably most efficient way to feel confident and to ensure that you’re ready for everything that might go wrong is to simply plan as much in advance as it is possible. Ideally, around four to six weeks prior to your departure date you should start considering what you need to get done before leaving.

Visit your doctor

Even for completely healthy individuals, it is still a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor prior to travelling. It’s always a good idea to keep some asthma medicine handy, so a medical professional can provide you with the details on what should you buy and what precautions you should keep in mind – this is especially true when travelling to distant of exotic location.

For asthmatics, this will be an opportunity to do a quick check-up and see if your personal asthma plan is at its most effective and if you’re managing the condition properly. In addition, the doctor will provide you with information on how to manage your asthma when away and what should you do in case of an emergency.

Taking travel vaccinations

For some destination, some extra precautions may be advised, including preventive vaccination. This can be either a dose of medicines that will boost your immune system, or classical vaccinations against illnesses that are not common in your environment but are present at the destination of your travel. For asthmatics, it is important to ensure that they are not allergic to any of the ingredients that recommended vaccines will contain.

Review your asthma triggers

Every asthmatic has a personal array of common asthma triggers. It is important to plan ahead and check whether you are likely to encounter some over the course of your travelling. The most common consideration is, of course, the weather. A sudden change in temperature or humidity when arriving on your target destination might be enough to cause you problem. In addition, levels of air pollution or presence of pollen at the time you expect to arrive are also some factors worth considering.

Managing asthma on a holiday

It is of vital importance for asthmatics to adhere to their asthma action plan while on a holiday just like if they were at home. This means that it is crucial that you continue taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor and having a reliever medicine at hand at all times. By doing this, you will minimize the chances of experiencing an asthma attack abroad, where it can be even more dangerous since you will not be familiar with the health services and their method of operation.

At the same time, you must ensure that you have a sufficient supply of medicines to last you for the whole time of your vacation and then some. Bringing extra medicine is a good and reliable way to deal with unforeseen circumstances. In addition to this, it might be a good idea to bring extra copies of your prescription details in case you lose your inhalers or need immediate medical attention while abroad. Similarly, many asthmatics decide to bring an extra preventer inhaler in their hand luggage, just in case the worst case scenario of losing your baggage actually happens.

When bringing your inhalers, it’s best to place them into a clear plastic bag in order to adhere to current hand luggage restrictions – it is legal to carry essential medicines in quantities of more than 100ml, but you will need to obtain prior permission from the airport and airline company of your choice. This can be done with a letter from your doctor.

Always do your research

Prior to departing, it’s always a good idea to try and find out as much as you can about the facilities available at your destination in case of an emergency. The location and number of a local ambulance service and location of closest doctor or hospital are considered to be crucial information you should obtain prior to your journey. Inform your travel companions about these details and let them know where they can find the detailed report about your condition form your UK doctor. In this way you can ensure that if an emergency situation does occur, you will be able to get the required treatment even if incapacitated.

Get travel insurance

Whenever you’re travelling abroad, it is always important to take out a travel insurance policy for the time that you will spend outside of your hometown. When applying, you will have to mention that you have asthma – some insurance companies ask people living with chronic conditions to obtain the doctor’s permission for travelling before approving the insurance.

The residents of the United Kingdom can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (or EHIC for short). The application is completely free of charge and can be carried out online rather easily. You should take your EHIC card whenever you travel within Europe, as you can get free or at least cheaper healthcare in all member states of the European Union.

Get ready for air travel

While a vast majority of asthmatics can travel by airplane without any problems, some may notice exacerbated symptoms caused by the cabin air pressure and reduced oxygen levels. If it’s your first time travelling by airplane and you have no knowledge about how you may react, the doctor may recommend carrying some tests out in order to assess whether air travel is safe for you. Always talk to your doctor prior to flying as you will surely get some valuable advice.

Mind your activities

With well-managed asthma, you should be able to take part in any activity you find interesting. However, it is still important to ensure that you won’t be exposed to triggers. For example, people affected by exercise-induced asthma should avoid intense physical activity, while changes in altitude or temperature can cause problems for others. The most popular holyday activities that may act as triggers include:

  • Scuba diving
  • Mountaineering
  • Skiing

If you’re interested in scuba diving specifically, it’s important to note that some countries have different regulations regarding scuba diving for asthmatics, so you should research this before you go.

Once again, just because you have asthma, you shouldn’t miss out on enjoying in your vacation. Starting with this list and consultations with a doctor, you should be able to ensure proper management of your condition and prepare for anything that might happen.