Although people with asthma are usually good at keeping their symptoms under control, a different environment or hot, humid weather can trigger and aggravate symptoms.
It’s almost holiday time, and whether you are living it up locally or travelling abroad, here are a few steps you can take for a worry-free holiday.
1. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your medication
If you plan to visit a hotter, more humid (or drier) region than you are used to, chat to your doctor about adjusting your medication to keep your symptoms under control. Especially humidity can worsen your asthma symptoms.
2. Make sure your prescriptions are up to date
If you are travelling, it’s important to make sure that you have enough medication. You might not be able to update your prescription while you are away, and you don’t want to run out.
3. Be careful of chlorine
Planning to swim? High chlorine levels can trigger asthma symptoms. An incorrect pH level and poor general maintenance of a public pool may worsen your symptoms. If your child has asthma, do not let them swim unsupervised and always keep their inhaler at hand in case of an attack.
4. Request smoke-free, mould-free accommodation
Check with your host or hotel front desk beforehand to make sure that your accommodation is smoke-free and maintained for mould. These two factors could worsen symptoms and make your stay unpleasant.
5. Check your medical aid or scheme
If you are travelling abroad, check whether your medical aid covers you or your children for doctor’s visits or emergencies in case of an asthma attack. If you travel locally, check to see which hospitals or doctors in the area belong to your network to prevent additional costs during an emergency.
6. Think ahead
If you know that you or your children are affected by pollen, use a weather app such as Accuweather to determine the humidity and pollen count in the area beforehand.
7. Pack your own bedding
Bring your own pillow cases and sheets in case your asthma is triggered by dust or dust mites. This will help to make you and your children feel more secure.
8. Check and double-check
Make a list of essential medication such as inhalers, spacers and nebulisers so that you don’t forget anything when you travel.
9. Stay hydrated and healthy
Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated during hot weather. Also wash your hands regularly to avoid picking up germs which could lead to infections.
10. Have fun
Don’t let asthma hold you or your kids you back. Teach your children that they can absolutely swim and partake in physical activities while suffering from asthma, as long as they are prepared and careful. Know the signs when asthma is about to turn into a medical emergency and keep a watchful eye on your children. But also remember to relax and have fun!
Image credits: iStock