Preparing to Travel with Non-Allergic Asthma
I don’t have allergic asthma. I have been tested for everything under the sun multiple times. Yet I still have severe asthma.
Considering asthma triggers during travel preparations
My triggers tend to be more along the lines of strong smells like smoke (both cigarette and fire smoke), strong perfume, harsh cleaning products, stress, changes in the weather and things of that nature to name a few.
As I was packing and preparing to travel by plane for an upcoming trip, I started really thinking about the possible challenges I might face as an asthmatic. I am thankful that I personally wouldn’t have to worry about pet dander and things of that nature but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t need to be prepared for other possible triggers I may encounter along my journey.
Making a list always helps
I am a list maker. It helps my brain organize my thoughts. I currently have a couple bullet journals going and it’s a great way for me to jot down my lists that I have in my head so, I don’t forget things. If you haven’t heard about the wonderful world of bullet journaling, basically it’s a journal or blank book for list makers. They are fantastic and I could go on for days about how helpful they are but I’ll get back to traveling with asthma.
Don't forget your medication!
At the top of my packing list is my medications. This sounds silly, but in the rush to pack, things can accidentally get left behind. Even the most important things like medications. Be sure to pack your medications in your carry-on bag. I definitely wouldn’t check-in any of your medications. The storage underneath a plane isn’t temperature regulated which could be very bad for your medications, especially inhalers.
I have a small handheld nebulizer that I also carry on. I have never had an issue carrying this on but if you are concerned it wouldn’t hurt to have a note from your doctor stating medical necessity.
Include a mask!
Another recent addition that I take literally everywhere with me and it stays in my purse at all times is my fabric face mask. I have a vogmask that I ordered from Amazon. There are a ton of different brands out there you can try and they seem to pretty much do the same thing. I personally wanted a reusable one with a filter.
It’s nice to see the masks have different patterns etc. If I get on the plane and a person near me is wearing very strong perfume or cologne or smells like cigarette smoke I can put my mask on. Easy peasy.
Being prepared with an asthma plan
Do some research ahead of time as far as the airports you will be going to and any layovers to see how far apart your gates will be and if there are moving sidewalks to make it easier on you if it is a very large airport. Often times the airports have a service where they have a shuttle/cart service where they can drive you between your gates if you have difficulty walking long distances. It might be something that needs to be set up in advance but it is definitely worth looking into!
Traveling can be a stressful experience even for the most experienced traveler and even more so for those of us with asthma. Taking the extra time to be sure to be prepared can make the world of difference.
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