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Camping with asthma?

I have what I would classify as moderate persistent asthma, as well as lots of environmental allergies. Eczema/atopic dermatitis too. I have had a couple bad flare-ups lately and have been disappointed, frustrated, and exhausted trying to get things back under control. I just finished my second course of prednisone of the spring, and (fingers crossed), I finally feel like things are under control again. I have a camping trip scheduled for the 4th of July holiday weekend, so I have some anxiety about how my asthma and allergies will react to that. I often feel like just as soon as things get under control, I get hit with another flare-up and I'm exhausted.

I'm currently on Symbicort, Singulair, Allegra-D, and Flonase to control my asthma and allergies. I did allergy shots for about a year before I gave up because I kept having asthma flare-ups. I might give it another shot (pun intended) in the future, depending on what my new allergist recommends.

Ali

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Comments 9

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Ali! I took the liberty of moving such a great question into its own topic — that way more folks will see it and other folks, who may lurk but have experience camping, may spot it and chime in. Hope you don't mind!

    As for camping … what sort of camping will you be doing? Will it be "camping in a tent, deep in the woods?" Or will it be "camping in an RV with AC and in a campground?"

    And could you talk to the doc who's currently managing your asthma to give you a good "vacation plan?"

    I love camping … don't go anymore because I married a NON-camper , but our family vacations when I was a kid were all camping in RV trips. My own asthma hadn't been diagnosed at that point, but my mom had asthma and so I may be able to help you think through any challenges you might encounter. 

  • Pljohns

    Thanks for moving this over Cynthia-we will be getting a travel trailer within the next year so camping will be a twice monthly thing.  We won't be getting a new camper because of the off gassing and will be very selective with a used one-no smokers etc-I'm interested to see what others post!

  • AliWithAsthma

    Thanks Cynthia! I'll be camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota in a classic 1970s pop-up camper, which is essentially an off-the-ground tent, because the sink and stove and other more modern amenities haven't been in service for years, but we will be in a campground at a site with electricity, so I will bring along my nebulizer and will be able to use that if need-be. The campground also has a lodge with air conditioning, as well as nice shower facilities, which is important to me because I do much better if I shower and wash off all the pollen, campfire smoke, dust, etc. before I go to bed. I have an aunt and uncle who live in the area, so I can retreat to their place if camping turns out to be miserable and I need to be inside.

    Good idea about discussing a "vacation plan" with my doctor! I hadn't thought of it that way, but it makes a lot of sense.  I'll touch base with my doctor to see if he has any other ideas or recommendations before I take off.

    A little over a month ago, I went to Portland for a week to visit some friends, but I was on the tail-end of a recent flare up and I was very worried that I'd have symptoms return once I finished my current prednisone burst, so I consulted with my doctor before I left and he adjusted my dosage/duration for a longer taper-off period, so I was able to have some peace of mind before flying across the country into way-out-of-my-health-insurance-network land. Happily, I was able to enjoy my vacation without any emergencies or resurgence of symptoms. Hopefully this one goes just as well!

    Fortunately, at present, I have been off my most recent prednisone burst for over a week and I feel stable and pretty well-controlled. Still feeling a little nervous about camping and being outside the majority of the time, but also excited. The weather forecast shows temps in the mid-70s with a chance of scattered thunderstorms, and pollen counts appear to be lower out there than they are currently where I live.

     

     

  • Melissa G

    It really depends on what your are. 

    Cynthia asked a great question, will you be tent camping or using an RV? That makes a huge difference. 

    Trees and campfire smoke are not my friends. The first two years of camping, I was miserable, I would have allergy issues every time we went camping. I finally talked to my allergist about what had been going on.  We switched my antihistamine and when we go camping, I take it twice a day. That made a huge difference. 

    We will also use the air conditioner more often, even in nicer weather. 

  • Shea

    Ali, I went to the Black Hills, South Dakota as a kid and I still remember it as one of the best vacations I have ever been on. It is such a cool area and lots to see. I remember horse back riding on a trail, and the petrified forest of the black hills, and Mt Rushmore. I think I was like 8 or 10 years old and it was just so cool seeing it all. It sounds like a nice campsite you are staying at, it is good that it has electricity for if you need to neb, and showers. Id still pick up n95 asthma mask at least a walmart one, just in case you get stuck near smoke and it bothers you, then thatll help. Everything sounds good though and like lots of fun!

  • AliWithAsthma

    Thanks everyone! I'm happy to report that my camping trip went well and I felt great! I used my albuterol inhaler a few times prior to activities, but didn't need to use my nebulizer at all! The temperature was perfect, mid-60s to low 70s, with scattered showers in the afternoons and evenings. Not too humid or muggy, happily. We only had a campfire one night because the rain got in the way the other nights. I showered before bed and slept well without any exacerbations. I am so thankful the trip went even better than I could have hoped!

     

  • Shea

    Awesome Ali! Now I want to camping (but not here in Florida, it is yucky-hot here!– I want to go there where you went! I like those temps!) So glad you had a great time and no issues!

  • Melissa G

    Woohoo for a great camping trip Ali! That is wonderful to hear! Do you have another camping trip planned for this summer?