Going on vacation can be one of the best ways to relax and unwind, but when you live with asthma, you have a little more to think about than just the destination.
Although it may take a little more preparation, many people with asthma enjoy fun and stress-free vacations all over the world—with some even finding their symptoms improve. Here are some few things to consider when planning your trip.
Consider the Weather
When deciding on your ideal location, you should also consider the weather. Extreme changes in temperature, either hot or cold, humid or damp, can trigger asthma symptoms and make them worse. For example, hot weather can encourage the growth of mold in the air, which is a common asthma trigger for many people. It's also important to remember that your asthma medication can lose efficacy if it's stored incorrectly in heat, so ensure that you keep it in a cool place and out of direct sunlight.
Staying in an unfamiliar environment can make it difficult to control your asthma triggers. Taking simple measures such as requesting a non-smoking room, or packing anti-allergen bedding, can make a big difference to your asthma symptoms.
Plan for Pollen
Pollen is a common trigger for many people with asthma, but it can be tricky to control for — especially if you have an allergy to a pollen type that isn't commonly found around your home but is prevalent at your vacation destination. It's also important to remember that pollen seasons vary between countries, and states, so try to avoid peak pollen season in your chosen destination.
If you're looking for a destination with a low pollen count, consider visiting a coastal area — But, be aware if you're allergic to ragweed, as ragweed pollen can travel hundreds of miles across the ocean. When planning your asthma-friendly vacation, be sure to check the local pollen levels of your chosen location, so that you can plan accordingly.
Watch Out for Altitude
If you have plans of reaching new heights on vacation, it's essential to make sure that your asthma is well-managed, and that you plan accordingly for any physical activity. Although the air at higher altitudes tends to have less pollution if your symptoms worsen with physical activity, or cold weather, you may find that climbing at high altitudes triggers your asthma.
When traveling by plane, some people may find that reduced air pressure during the flight exasperates their asthma symptoms. If you have particularly severe asthma symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider about before you travel. It may be necessary to undergo a physical assessment to determine whether you could benefit from in-flight oxygen.
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