Your long-awaited vacation is about to start, and it involves some time in an airplane. Air travel can aggravate your allergies, so it’s important to prepare yourself for the changes your ears, nose and throat may encounter. Here are ten tips to cope with your allergies as you travel by air.
1. See Your Allergist/ENT Ahead of Your Trip
Get medication refills as needed, and update your vaccines, particularly as appropriate to your destination. Have your doctor provide an official letter which states that you must carry certain medications with you on the airplane or that you are allergic to some foods.
2. Wear a Medical ID Bracelet if You Have Severe Allergy or Asthma Symptoms
This is a good idea regardless of your mode of transportation. Medical identification helps first responders and healthcare providers treat you in case you cannot speak for yourself.
3. Take All Your Medications With You
That includes nasal sprays, inhalers, epi-pens, antihistamines–in other words, your routine allergy and rescue medications. Keep them in your carry-on bag so they are handy if needed.
4. Use Your Saline Nasal Spray Before You Board the Plane
Air travel is very dry. So, if you’re prone to sinus infections and nasal allergies, moisturize your nasal passageways with saline before and during your trip. You’re more likely to feel comfortable throughout the flight if you do so. You also might want to pre-treat with an antihistamine spray or oral antihistamine medication as well.
5. Bring Your Own Travel Pillow
Airplane pillows are well-known for their dust mites and contamination with microbes and a whole host of allergens.By bringing your own clean travel pillow, you can avoid unwanted mites and microbes. Put your travel pillow in your carry-on bag and use it if you have a long flight.
6. Use Clorox Wipes to Clean Your Seat and Other Surfaces
Cleaning your seat before a long flight can remove allergens and bacteria before you sit down so you’re not breathing them in throughout your flight. For an extra layer of protection, you can use a blanket to cover the seat.
7. Airplanes Are Cleaner Earlier in The Day
The interior of the plane will have been vacuumed and wiped down at the start of the day, thereby limiting germs and allergic triggers, such as dust and pollen. So, taking a flight earlier in the day ensures your flight will be cleaner.
8. When You Book Your Tickets, Tell the Airline About Your Allergies
This way, the flight attendants and crew are informed of your medical issue and can help you with anything you may need.
9. Bring a Face Mask
Face masks aren’t just for protecting against COVID-19. High-quality masks, such as N-95 masks, can filter out allergens from the air you breathe. Thankfully, face masks have become so common that no one will think it odd if you put one on.
10. Relax as Much as Possible
Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, nap, or read something interesting. Stress can induce allergic reactions and asthma. So, relax,focus on something positive, and your trip will go more smoothly.
Allergist Near Me in Austin, TX
Dr. Scott William Franklin is a board-certified otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) who understands the challenges of traveling with allergies and asthma. He is happy to coach you on the do’s and don’ts of your upcoming airplane ride.
Call us today at (512) 869-0604 to schedule an appointment, or request your visit here. We look forward to seeing you soon!