Staying Healthy During the Holidays: Tips for Asthma & COPD Patients

family holiday travelIf you have a chronic respiratory condition like asthma or COPD, the holidays can
present extra health challenges. Attending special events or traveling on an airplane or train can put you in close proximity to sick people, increasing your risk of catching a respiratory virus that could lead to complications. You also need to make extra preparations before any trip to ensure you’ll have the medications needed while away from home.

Try these tips for staying healthy and making sure your condition is well managed during the holiday season:

Check Your Medicine Supply

Be sure you have plenty of medication, inhalers, or other medical supplies needed. It’s a good idea to take enough for a few extra days beyond your planned travel time in case your return trip should get delayed for any reason.

If you’re flying, put all your medicine, nebulizer, and other medical equipment in your carry on luggage. Also make sure all medicines and inhalers are in the original container or box with the prescription label on them.

Get a Flu Shot

If you haven’t already received a flu shot, be sure to get one before the holidays are in full swing. Holiday gatherings or travel mean you are more likely to encounter the flu virus. The flu can easily lead to complications for those with asthma or COPD.

Understand Oxygen Needs for Flying

If you’re a COPD patient and you’re flying, you may need supplemental oxygen due to lower oxygen levels in the plane’s pressurized cabin. Talk to your doctor about your flying plans well ahead of time. You should also check with your airline about rules for supplemental oxygen and let them know if you will need oxygen with you.

Lower Your Risk

Other ways to lower your risk of catching a cold or the flu include washing your hands frequently and regularly sanitizing your cell phone, which can be a germ magnet. You can purchase special wipes or a UV light designed to clean phones.

You can also boost your immune system by getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet. It’s a little harder to stick to your regular sleep schedule or eat nutritious foods when traveling; however, the effort can not only help your immunity, but also give you more energy to enjoy your travels.

Need Help Managing Your Asthma or COPD?

If you’re looking for a doctor to help you better manage your asthma or COPD, including preparing for holiday travel, make an appointment with one of LeBauer’s board-certified pulmonologists. These specialists are trained to care for patients with chronic respiratory disease and offer pulmonary services in Burlington, Greensboro, and High Point. Make an appointment online, or call the office most convenient to your location.

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