Flying with asthma: Hi. My daughter and... - Asthma UK communi...

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Flying with asthma


Hi. My daughter and I are going on holiday Saturday morning, she is 20 and has had a tough year with asthma, however has been well the past month, she currently takes fostair200/6 2 in morning and 2 at night, montelukast at night time. She is saying she feels anxious about flying and that her chest has felt tighter the last few days, which I think could be more anxiety, she was only diagnosed out of the blue 2 years ago, so this is the first flight, and it will take around 4.5 hours does anyone have any advice, thanks

25 Replies

Make sure she is relaxed for the flight because anxiety can set off asthma. I was diagnosed out of the blue a couple of years ago and am on the same regime as she is. I have flown 4 times and been on a cruise since and have had no issues. If she is aware of and can avoid any triggers she may have then she shouldn’t have a problem

Lizzyt74 in reply to Carriejen

Thank you so much, that’s reassuring, I wonder if it is worth me getting her doctors appointment tomorrow just as a precaution and reassurance for her, whilst at the same time not wanting to make it an issue for her, I don’t want her to over worry, or think I am worrying. X

Carriejen in reply to Lizzyt74

If it’ll make her feel better then maybe get an appointment. Flying is scary. Flying with asthma is scary too. The first time I flew I had been diagnosed about 5 months. Like I said I never had any breathing issues it was more worry about the flight

I've had asthma all my life & have never had any trouble flying so there's no specific reason why she should have a problem (unless a medic has a particular reason to feel differently). You are right about anxiety though; the combination of flying & asthma might make her feel worse.

It might be worth arranging an appointment for reassurance with a doctor, then make sure she takes a few extra puffs of the reliever before getting on the plane & I'm sure all will be well.

Lizzyt74 in reply to Minushabens

Thank you, I really like this group, it just makes you feel normal. Having said that the asthma diagnosis has made me a paranoid mother at times! X

Minushabens in reply to Lizzyt74

It's easily done! I worried ten times about my son (also asthmatic) than I ever did about myself - & as an aside, he's got a bucketful of air miles to his name. He was more upset about only being allowed 2 beers on a 10-hour flight recently than his breathing!

Lizzyt74 in reply to Minushabens

Haha, I will certainly be telling her that one. Thanks again x

I have had asthma all my life and have never had a problem flying. Just make sure she has enough medication for the flight; bring the prescriptions just in case the airline ask to see them; pack in a clear plastic bag in your hand luggage with any spares in your suitcase; make sure the medication is easily reachable and not in the overhead compartment (I did this once and needed my inhaler during turbulence and the stewardess told me off); and finally, relax. Being prepared is the key. Also, don't forget health insurance/European Health Care card or whatever it is for where you are going. Get to know the local emergency phone number or hospital number just in case. Then, if your daughter has an attack, you aren't rushing around trying to figure out what to do. I always feel better having a plan, even if I never use it. Hope you both have a good time. x

I’d also add, make sure you give yourselves plenty of time to check in, drop your bags, get through security and finally getting to the gate when it is announced. I find that if I am having to rush because of tight time schedules my breathing is worse. No doubt through anxiety, but it helps to have prepared well and allow adequate time so as to reduce that as much as possible.

I take also take fostair 200/6, montelukast as well as spiriva respimat and have had no issues with flying but as emmasue said make sure she has her inhalers in her hand luggage and easily accessible in case she needs them. I’m more anxious about my forthcoming cruise!

Thank you so much, it mean a lot that you have taken the time to respond, I a, feeling less anxious and am going to show Ashleigh the poss, I didn’t tell her as I didn’t want to make an issue if it.

Thank you

Recently when I flew my hand luggage was pulled to one side for extra checks. They had ‘spotted’ my peak flow meter and got suspicious. Once brought out they were absolutely fine! But since I have put it out for ‘inspection’ along with the usual paraphernalia they want to be able to inspect easily.

I take Symbicort normally 2x2 puffs per day, sometimes more. I have never had a problem with flying.

I had that when I flew earlier this year but with my spacer. The guy at security was quite aggressive but as soon as I said it's a medical device he was very apologetic and fine about it. After that I kept it in the side mesh pocket of my bag so it could be easily removed for inspection if necessary.

I find a very simple thing like a small hand held fan helps a lot when I feel my chest tight on a plane .

Get there a bit early and chill, coffee and cake maybe, a trip round duty free!!! A book or magazine for flight or a game on her phone. Talk to her lots during the flight and don't forget ventolin inhaler her preventer. Focus on anything but asthma and have a wonderful time.😊

Wheezycat in reply to Spikedog66

...........but, perhaps, avoid all the fragrances in duty free...........

I had the same exact fear just last month. I was diagnosed in June, had a 4 hour flight the first week of August. I didn’t have any issues flying. I was so relieved! I had my rescue inhaler close by just in case but never needed it. I know many people disregard non medical approaches to relieving asthma symptoms but I stumbled across The Buteyko breathing technique. The breathing techniqu is a simple non invasive way to relax when you feel your asthma flare up coming on. (You can google this to learn the method, it’s very simple). Many people use it to relieve sinus pressure but I’ve never had sinus issues, I use it strictly for asthma symptoms. I decided to start using the technique a few days before I left. Even though I was a skeptic, I can’t deny that it REALLY helped me! I used this during my flight as well. The worse thing it can do is nothing. I found it reduced my chest tightness and calmed me. I now practice this breathing technique several times a day. I’m grateful to have found something to ease the tightness. Also, it helps with the anxiety that some people experience from taking inhalers. Hope you have a nice holiday!

Lizzyt74 in reply to Wags199

Wow that’s amazing going to google that breathing, thank you. Xx

Few puffs of reliever at the boarding gate, also make sure daughter's asthma is detailed as pre-existing medical condition on your travel insurance. Perhaps have a few days worth of steroid tablets in case she gets ill when you are away. Have a great holiday.

Lizzyt74 in reply to OFJhere

I thought about the steroids we some spare so wil pop them in the case. Thank you

Might help to let her know you can be a airline pilot with asthma :)

Lizzyt74 in reply to Poppie12

Really. Well that is good I wil defo tell her x

Make sure you have good insurance and try to reassure her

I’m another life long asthmatic and fly probably 10 times a year.

I’d also add I always travel with double the medication I need, packed in separate bags. Things go wrong, inhalers get lost and break etc. I also pack my prescription with the “scientific” names of the meds on that way if I have to see a doctor in a no English speaking country I’d just give them that and they know exactly what I’m taking.

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