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Asthma and Flying

Hi all,

I notice the last couple of times ive been on a plane for 2 1/2 hours (so a small journey) i hyperventilate and get panicky. take my salbutomol when this happens. never has problems flying before and I am due to fly to slovenia for a holiday in two weeks, however been off sick with my asthma and chest infection, then post viral syndrome. quite bad.

how does everyone feel when they fly? i hear you can take oxygen on the plane if needed? im abt to ask my doctor about this but any advice on what you do when you fly would be nice so i can prepare.

thanks lovelies! the double dose on my steriod inhaler and anti-histimes (plus the rest!) are helping! hope your are all doing ok!

kel xx

8 Replies

Hello Kelwoo,

Short flights are not usually a problem with me, though small planes such as 737s are as they are so stuffed with people ( eg Ryanair!) and feel stuffy! More people trying to breathe all that air! I have flown long haul too but with medical supervision ( Thanks to the RAF!!) I use my nebs on the plane no problem.

Firstly, I would not take ventolin for hyperventilating as it will make you feel worse as it will increase your heart rate adding to the panicky feeling.

I assume you don't have home O2 ??? so don't worry about O2 on planes unless your consultant advises it after a test to see how you react to lower oxygen levels.

Asking for O2 on a plane journey opens up a HUGE can of worms.

1 - it can cost you more though some plane companies are waiving the fees now.

2 - your Travel Insurance will increase lots!

I have O2 at home for emergency but told by cons no need on plane so I don't declare it on travel insurance. Mu current meds & history make the premium quite big anyway.

Please check your travel insurance covers your asthma even if you have to pay a small premium! I paid in total a round £40 for a week in Italy last year with the post office.

Remember, stay nice and calm, have some slow breathing excsersise ready and think about the holiday and fun when you are on the plane. Take plenty of water too. Buy or find that elusive water fountain and fill up your bottle airside!

I am sure there are some others who can advise from their perspectives....



Many thanks Kate thats grand, yes I had a feeling I shouldn't be taking the salbutmol for those very reasons! been told to not take so much cause of my heart also, not a good combo!

should i have home o2? do you know what ive seen a new nurse today as the one at my other pratice was rubbish! my new nurse was so shocked!No asthma plan, no one checking my meds (thank god my doctors having been seeing me lots recently)but having a proper asthma consultation in 2 weeks time so ask about it all then.

will definately do the breathing and water! my own water bottle, water on plane is sooooo expensive!!

kel xx


Home O2 is only prescribed for severe brittle asthmatics under strict orders from your Consultant. It is a drug technically speaking and is not normal asthma home treatment. I use it under very strict protocols for my asthma.

Basically, if the average asthmatic needs O2 they should be in hospital.

Glad to be of help....



I do not use o2 at home and i dont need it as my oxygen levels dont really change when i having a mild attack , i have a more sereve attack and need it i need to be in hospital.

I find when flying i need to take my inhaler 10 minutes before the plane takes off and once again when it is finally settled up in the air and sometimes during terbalance and i often find i am breathless when the plane lands. but i just use to use my inhaler, not sure how it would work now i use a nebuiliser as my reliever but i guess it would be same use it before take off and then again in flight if i needed it.


I think most airlines need to be contacted if you are taking a nebuliser on board. Personally I find flying with Asthma impossible all that flapping of the arms and I never seem to get off the ground :)


hahaha! Bex that really really made me giggle! :-) xx


he he bex that was great!



Has anyone else noticed on filghts of 2+ hours in duration that within a couple of days of the flight they end up with colds/flu from the re-cycled air on board the flight and the dirty air filters...


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