Traveling by air

Hi guys

I have been suffering from asthma episodes for the past 6 months and medicine is not helping, I will see a pulmonary doctor next week, however I'm schedule to travel for work before I go see the doctor and I'll be in the airplane for 4 hrs each way. How does the cabin pressure afects asthma ? I'm really concern about not been able to breath and being in an airplane for so many hours. Should I postpone the trip until I get my asthma under control ? 



Comments 11

  • Kathy P

    Welcome @Isacastle. I fly quite frequently and don't think I've noticed cabin pressure being a factor. Now there are other things that are – like fragrances on other passengers it the flight crew. 

    Make sure you have your rescue inhaler readily available. I've accidentally had mine packed at the bottom of my bag in the overhead which was hard to access.

    You could call the pulmonologist and ask if they have any recommendations for how to deal with flying. My doc has me pretreat and be more aggressive about my preventative meds. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, and welcome @Isacastle! Hugs on the asthma!

    My asthma is triggered more by changes in humidity and changes in temperature, as well as fragrances and smells. Flights are very dry to me, and that can cause me to start coughing, which can spur on an asthma attack. But hydrating ahead helps me.

    I think companion animals are more common on flights now, so if you are triggered by dander, that's another consideration.

    I say to Kathy P's suggestion to talk to your doctor and get a pre-treat plan. I would also make sure that you have an updated sick plan as well … and use lots of hand sanitizer!

  • Pljohns

    Welcome @lsacastle-I can so relate-I just got back from an almost 5 hr flight-the first since I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma 6 years ago.  My asthma is severe persistant and is non-allergic so I never know what is going to cause an issue.  The only things we've been able to figure out is temp changes, weather changes and strong smells in any form.  I was very concerned about flying but made it just fine.  My doctor had me pre treat with 60 mg of prednisone and albuteral just prior to the flight.  I was very afraid of 60 mg with no taper but after research and a lot of information from everyone on this board, took it about 3 hours prior to flying and then albuteral about 30 mins prior to the flight.  I had no problems AT ALL-going or coming.  I took all of my meds with me and thankfully didn't have anyone near me that was soaked in anything that smelled.  I was concerned about cabin pressure too but didn't notice anything that caused issues.  I did notice the change in pressure going up, but not enough for me to need meds and once we were at altitude, it seemed to go away.

    I made it through TSA with over 70 vials of albuteral/budesonide and my maintenance meds as well as a nebulizer.  My maintenance meds are temp sensitive so I had them packed in a special cool carrier to keep it between 37-47 and still had no problems with TSA.  DH had an inhaler with him and they didn't even question it.

    i agree though-talk to your doc and get a pre-treat plan as well as a sick plan in case you have problems.  I hope your trip goes well~

  • Jen

    Hi @Isacastle,

    Welcome to AAFA's support forums.  When do you leave on your trip?

  • K8sMom2002

    Yikes! That's a short turn-around time, but you can do it! I would definitely go ahead and reach out to your doctor for advice and a good solid plan!

  • Kathy P

    How are you feeling about the trip? Are you ready for it? Do you have a plan for if your asthma flares?

  • Jen

    @Isacastle How did the trip go?  Did you have any issues with your asthma?