Don’t let allergies derail your summer traveling!
Summer is here and that means vacations are right around the corner! Dealing with allergies at home can be challenging enough, but what about traveling with allergies?
Here are a few tips to help you feel comfortable and confident when traveling with allergies:
- Wear your medical ID Bracelet: List the foods you are allergic, the name and phone number of your doctor and a notice that you are carrying an epinephrine auto-injector.
- Translate your allergies- Language barriers in foreign countries can be frightening even without allergies. There are online sites that offer printed cards that explain your allergies in any language you need. Go to: https://www.allergytranslation.com/Home/home.php.
- Epi-Everywhere-Everyday! – Epinephrine auto injectors (EpiPen® or Auvi-Q®) are the #1 treatment for severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Make sure you bring more than one injector. Up to ⅓ of reactions may require a second dose, either for severe initial symptoms or a delayed reaction several hours later. After using the epinephrine, seek care at the nearest ER for treatment. Check the expiration date of your epi device before leaving home.
- Where can you get treated? – Before heading out, search for local hospital ERs, urgent care clinics or allergists at your destination in the event a reaction occurs and medical treatment is necessary.
- Bring your own snacks. If you are uncomfortable eating at restaurants over concern of food allergen exposures, carry safe foods with you.
Environmental Allergies: Unfortunately, you cannot modify the climate or the pollen count when you are traveling. However, you can know your surroundings and be prepared.
- Know your pollen: Different areas of the country have distinct and predictable tree, grass and weed pollen seasons. Knowing your allergies can help you predict if you will be facing pollen season at your destination. If you don’t know your allergies, at Family Allergy & Asthma Care, we can perform allergy skin testing and you will have a result in 20 minutes. An online resource for pollen counts across the U.S. can be found at: http://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts.aspx If you are travelling overseas, go to: http://www.worldallergy.org/pollen/index.php?region=all&country=all&infotype=all&language=all While pollen “forecasts” are not reliable, pollen counts (from the previous day) can give you a pretty good idea of the most recent levels of tree, grass, weeds and mold.
- Get rid of the pollen: During particularly heavy pollen seasons, change clothes and take a shower before you go to bed.
- Pet-Free Hotels: Avoid pet-friendly hotels and motels if you have animal dander allergy.
- Allergy-Safe Hotels: A number of hotel chains offer rooms with amenities such as bedding encasements to decrease dust mite allergy reactions, air purifiers, replacing drapes with blinds and special filter systems. For more information, go to: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/allergy-and-asthma/articles/2010/11/23/how-to-have-an-allergy-free-hotel-stay and to find a hotel directly go to: http://www.pureroom.com/find_a_pure_room or http://www.allergyfriendlyhotels.com/.
- Medication back-up: Regardless of what kind of environment you are traveling to, pack your medications. If you are traveling by air, keep medications in your carry-on bag.
- When it makes sense, pre-medicate: If you anticipate exposure to pets or entering an area where the pollen season is in full swing, start taking your medication in advance. The most effective treatment for nasal allergies is corticosteroid nasal sprays that take a couple of days to become effective.
At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana, we wish you happy, healthy and safe travels!
This information is solely for informational purposes and not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional.