If you have allergies or asthma, chances are they’re always with you, even when you travel. To ensure that your next trip is as relaxing as possible, take the following precautions before you depart:
Cars, Buses and Trains
Common allergens like mites and molds can lurk in the carpeting, upholstery and ventilation systems of vehicles. Before beginning a roadtrip, turn on the air conditioner or heater and open the windows for at least 10 minutes before getting in the car.
If you have food allergies, be cautious when eating airline food. Make sure to carry your portable, injectable epinephrine in case you have a reaction while in flight. If you have a painful sinus or ear infection, take a short-acting oral decongestant or use a nasal spray decongestant one hour before takeoff. In flight, sip liquids, swallow often and chew gum to decrease any pain.
Ask if there are allergy-proof rooms available. If you are sensitive to molds, request a sunny, dry room away from areas near indoor pools. If you have allergies to any animals, ask about the hotel’s pet policy and request a room that has been pet-free. People who are allergic to dust mites may want to bring their own dust-proof, zippered covers for pillows and mattresses, or personal bedding.
Visiting Family and Friends
Animal allergens found in a pets’ dander, saliva or urine can sometimes be a problem, even if the pet has been put outside or removed from the room. It takes months before the allergic residue of an indoor pet no longer causes symptoms, so it’s best to avoid staying in the homes of family or friends whose pets trigger your allergy symptoms.
Camping can increase your contact with outdoor pollen as well as your chances for encountering bees, yellow jackets and wasps. Avoid camping during high pollen seasons, always have appropriate medications, and carry injectable epinephrine to treat reactions to stinging insects.
Most of all, be aware of any changes in your environment that may affect your allergies or asthma. Bon Voyage!
Dr. Eugene Hurwitz is the medical director of the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia with offices in Carrollton, Villa Rica, Breman, Newnan Emory Mid-town, Hiram, Smyrna, Peachtree City and opening this summer Avenues of Forsyth.
Center for Allergy
and Asthma of Georgia