Don't Take a Vacation From Asthma Medications!
Ah, summer... kids are out of school - and hopefully, you have some vacation time saved up and can take a week off work. For those of you planning a vacation to visit family, tour a national park, or head to the beach, there's a lot to get ready. While you are packing all of your clothes, pajamas, toothbrush, and everything else, don't forget your asthma medications! In fact, pack those first! Here's some travel advice when living with asthma.
Why? You might think, "I'm sure I'll be fine. What are the chances that I'm going to have problems with my asthma? It won't hurt me to go without my inhalers for a week. Right?" Wrong.
Asthma triggers are everywhere
The problem is that you don't know what you might run into. Asthma triggers can be anywhere!1 You may run into pets, dust, air pollution, pollen, perfume, cold temperatures, etc. And it's best to protect yourself by making sure you have your controller and rescue inhaler.
You may try to avoid asthma triggers when you travel, but remember that asthma triggers can change over time.2 So what may not have bothered you before can set off an asthma attack now.
You might tolerate the plants in your neighborhood, but go to grandma's - and she may have trees or flowers that you are allergic to and that can trigger an asthma attack. Or you might suddenly react to something you have been around your whole life. I wore a light perfume most of my life but suddenly started having problems with perfume about 4 years ago. Surprise! Now I have to add that to my list of things to watch out for.
Remember to pack your asthma inhalers
Remembering to pack (and take) all of your asthma inhalers on schedule is important! Since controller inhalers keep the swelling down in your lungs, they can help protect you.3
Since my kids and I have severe asthma, we all take a daily, controller inhaler.4 Since we take our inhalers twice a day, we all have our own routine we follow at home so we don't forget our asthma inhalers. But, when we travel....it's easy to forget our daily schedule so here's some asthma travel advice.
Traveling can mean squeezing the family into a hotel room, finding creative places for each person to sleep at grandma's (and listen to the kids complain about who had to sleep on the couch last time), and figuring out where to put your suitcases and belongings for the week. Add in a time change, and our schedules are really off!
Asthma travel advice and tips
I have noticed our asthma always flares up when we travel. Dusty hotel room? Someone wearing perfume on the airplane? Plants that are blooming? We have problems every single time. For us, it's important we stay on schedule with our controller inhalers.
Some things we have tried:
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you
- Set an alarm on your wrist watch
- Put a sticky note on the fridge at grandmas (when you get breakfast and then a bedtime snack at night, it can remind you)
- Leave your inhaler near your toothbrush (when you brush your teeth, you remember you need to take your inhaler first)
Have you noticed that your asthma flares up when you travel? Have you found something that helps you remember to take your inhaler while on vacation? Comment below!
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