Long Haul Flights

I was in Istanbul 4 months ago and the flight was only 4 hours but I found I was taking my ventolin inhaler a lot, now I have to go out to America in April but I'd like to plan better this time as I really didn't enjoy taking that pump so often.

The consultant at the hospital has said I am OKAY to fly but I'm not convinced because of my difficulties on the short flight.

Does anyone have any advice on anything I could take to help me relax more and not have to reach out for that pump so often. I actually think I was having anxiety attacks.

Anyway Thanks in advance.

11 Replies

  • I have seen passengers using oxygen masks. Disliked the air quality on planes - having picked bugs up. Spare antibiotics are handy. Ask your GP about the anxiety attacks. Have a good trip -- Annie80 x

  • I flew to the US last year and my consultant said I was ok to fly too. It didn't stop me from being nervous - silly Internet scare stories. At the end of the day I had to accept that my consultant knew best. I bought a portable nebuliser and nebulised before boarding. Once we reached 35000 I relaxed because we were at full air pressure etc. keeping hydrated was the biggest thing for me - lots of water. If you fly with Virgin you can organise oxygen quite easily. Check the airline.

    Enjoy yourself - once I'd flown over flying back was a breeze!!

    Marie x

  • Zoee, Thank you so much for all this advice, I really like the idea of lavendar cream, would this be cream or oil? I have decided to check in with my GP about these anxiety attacks, I am now in search of a good book to maybe help me as well. I have enough time as I am not flying till April 10th, I have flown all over the world but with my condition I slowed down a lot. I am just wondering how I'll cope with living in the mountains for 9 days.

    Once again a HUGE Thank you goes out to you.x

  • I have severe emphysema and I fly regularly, both short and long haul. I arrange oxygen for the flight and have had no problems. Enjoy your trip.

  • I cannot use the other inhalers so am limited to Spiriva. I don't really need the seretide/symbicourt anyway because I do not have inflamed airways or mucus so they do not really help but do cause me other problems so my consultant decided it was not worth me taking them. Ventolin actually makes my breathing a lot worse and corticosteroids make me suicidal! Doesn't leave me with much choice really. ;)

  • I would not manage without inflight oxygen though. Everybody has lower sats in flight and mine are far too low to start with - low 80s at rest without oxygen, into the 60s when I move.

  • Auntymary, did you arrange the oxygen when booking your ticket? Do you need anything from your consultant or GP to confirm that you need this?

  • I arrange it through my travel agent at time of booking and they give me a letter for my consultant to sign in the week before I fly. And to answer your following question, I know what my sats are becuse I use a finger pulse oxymeter to check them. You can have your respiratory clinic perform a fit for flight test. This will not only show if it is safe for you to fly but will show exactly what level of oxygen is necessary to maintain your oxygen saturation levels. Following this test, your consultant will give you a note stating you are fit to fly, this document will be needed for the airline's boarding purposes.

    Do we benefit from oxygen before and whilst flying?

    More than half of all air passengers experience significant blood oxygen decrease at high altitudes. The majority of air travellers find their oxygen saturation drops to a level at which many hospital patients would be prescribed extra oxygen, according to the May issue of Anesthesia, the official journal of the Association of Anesthesiologists of Britain and Ireland.

    A study by a team of researchers in Belfast found that oxygen levels fell by an average of 4% when people reached cruising altitude. A total of 84 passengers, ranging in age from 1 to 78, had their oxygen saturation levels measured by qualified anaesthetists. From ground-level, average reading was approx. 97% but this fell to 93% at altitude.


  • Thank you for this I will be reading this tonight. : )

  • How would one know what their stats was when flying? I was going to take a full course of Prednisalone and a weeks supply of antibiotics before I flew.

  • you can buy oxymeter on amazon about £15 I think fits on finger tells you sats and heartbeat

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