There are many things you can do when preparing for an asthma-free vacation. Those with allergic asthma, should consider the overall climate and the current season at destination area which may affect their condition. If you’re going to the dry southwest, you will probably have less problems than if you choose a humid tropics destination, as dampness virtually guarantees more airborne molds. Humid, warm climates may improve the chance of dust mites and indoor molds exposure, whereas cold dry air may be irritating to the breathing passages.
Preliminary checkup. If you have unstable asthma or active allergy symptoms, consider asking your family to visit a doctor before a vacation. Discuss about where you will be going and what you will be doing and determine whether your doctor thinks you need to adjust your medication.
Get medical alert bracelet. If you have unstable or severe asthma and you need to travel (especially if you are traveling without a family member), you should consider about wearing a special alert bracelet (for example, MedicAlert necklace or bracelet) to help medical professionals anywhere around the world understand about your problem in the case of an asthma attack. As a matter of fact, a medical bracelet is the first thing they look when dealing with emergency asthma attack. Medical necklace or bracelet should be engraved with your latest medical condition and also a toll-free number. Local doctors can call the number and get detailed medical condition of the patient. If a call gets through, the staff will also contact your family.
Preparing medications. Your medical kit should include your prescribed asthma medications and emergency rapid-acting medications, like bronchodilators, antihistamines, and some corticosteroids. Keep a backup set of complete medications in your purse, carry-on bag or briefcase in case the luggage gets stuck somewhere in the airport (you may also need to prepare a smaller third set of medication in your pocket, in the case the purse is stolen.) When preparing for an emergency you should pack more necessary. If you are planning to fly to a distant country, you should include the original container and a confirmation letter from your doctor (which includes his phone number), to make it easier for you to get through any custom checkpoint. Keeping your medications in its original container may also help a stranger administer the drugs to you if medical helps are still miles away.
Patients with particularly severe asthma may need prescribed oral corticosteroids during a long travel. Talk to your doctor about a proper way to use it and things that should be avoided.
Bring your peak-flow meter to monitor your current condition. Prepare an asthma action plan and also the doctor’s phone number. Make sure you get a compatible adapter for you destination country, which is needed for your portable nebulizer.
Prepare a contact information sheet. Take your doctor’s phone number with you, as there could be a time when you need to ask for his advices. You may need to purchase a travel medical insurance.
Make hotel reservations properly. You may not be surprised to know that hotel rooms are often home to large populations of mites and mold that lurk on carpets, upholstered furniture and bedding. When you make hotel reservations, be sure to ask if hypoallergenic rooms are available. Some hotels prepare rooms that are generally less allergenic than typical hotel rooms, for example the room may have hardwood flooring instead of a thick carpet and use anti-allergic and anti-mite cover mattress. You may also ask a non-smoking room if it has air conditioning to avoid traces of tobacco in the room. Ask the hotel to replace the filters on air conditioning before your arrival, even if it means that you need to pay some extra cash. If you are sensitive to mold, choosing a sunny, dry room away from the swimming pool is a good idea. If you are allergic to animals, ask the hotel for a room where a pet never stayed in there. If you are sensitive to dust mites and other allergens, you can always bring your own zippered dust-proof covers for pillows and mattresses. If you are allergic to feathers, bring a special pillow. If your family stays in a cabin in the woods or near the beach, make sure it is well ventilated and cleaned before you arrive for your holiday. This may reduce the concentrations of dust mites and mold.
Staying in a house. It is easy to think that you shouldn’t worry about allergens when you’re staying in relative’s or friend’s house, but that’s not necessarily true. Pet-related allergens can be spread through traces of urine and saliva around the house, which cause asthma attacks on some people, even if the animal is separated far away from the house. If the hosts know about your asthma, they may be agree to take some extra precautions, such as getting rid of pests or placing the pet away from the house. However, it can take weeks or even months before allergens disappear. If your friends have cats, you risks can be heightened as cats are common cause of asthma.
However, some precautions such as dusting and vacuuming the house one week before your arrival may help immensely. By letting the hosts know in advance you can ensure your health and comfort. If you feel that staying at someone’s home is likely to trigger asthma attacks, you may need to find a safe hotel room instead.