Aeroplane air!!

Hi All,

I'm due to go on a 9 hour flight in 6 weeks and I'm really scared about going. Last September I flew to Cyprus which is only 4 hours but all the way I had problems with my breathing - feeling really short of breath and bad crushing pains in my chest. I ended up taking my ventolin inhaler about every 10mins so I could breath!! (I dont have a neb) I've spoken to my asthma nurse and she has suggested taking a course of prednisolone a week before I go so my breathing is at its best.

Does anyone else have similar problems and how do you deal with it?

Thanks in advance


3 Replies

  • It's actually been a long time since I've been on an aeroplane.

    But I don't like going on them either....I experienced the same problems as u.

    I think the air is way too dry on planes - the inside of my nose felt like all the moisture had been sucked out and then sum1 lit a match inside it and my lungs!

  • Hi Emma,

    I've just got back from Barbados, which is an an 8.5 hour flight. I also regularly fly on 12 hour flights, although I have not done any of the big 23/24 hour flights yet. I used to have problems on the longer 12 hour flights, until I started taking my medication approx 20 minutes before boarding. That includes, salb nebs, symbicort inhaler, and most recently theophylline. The higher dose symbicort - 400/12 - has really helped my normal symptoms of breathlessness and seems to work very well controlling symptoms during any flight up to 12 hours long. Like you my doc wanted me to take pred for approx 10 days before flying, but as I have been off pred for a couple of months now, (after a long period of getting weaned off this drug) I just didn't want to break my record so to speak. I obviously took the pred. tablets with me as agreed with the doc.

    I've noticed that if you stay really well hydrated, -that means sipping still mineral water every ten minutes, and no alcohol, or strong coffee- it helps to lesson the dry feelings in the nose and lungs. Also I don't eat anything 'heavy' or large meals. (I think most food on airplanes is pretty awful anyway, whether travelling baggage class, enhanced baggage class or first baggage class. It all tastes the same to me! But that's just a personal opinion). Sitting next to a window has helped me too strangely enough. You could always talk with your doc/asthma nurse about any relaxation and/or breathing strategies that might be worth practising, before and during the flight.

    Good luck with the flight. Let us know how you get on.

    I'm sure others on this site will have some useful tips/advice as well.



  • my asthma has got really bad recently and i am really worried cause i am going to australia in july that i might have an attacki am going wid my schoo. I ave problems breathing and coughing (really bad) now and i don't know what to do


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