Before you start roasting chestnuts on an open fire, if you have asthma, take extra precaution when planning your holiday fun. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can take daily asthma management practices off track, such as taking daily controller medicines and avoiding sick people and asthma triggers. Not to mention travel, gift buying, and other holiday activities like sitting around the fireplace. We want to make sure you enjoy your family and holiday fun, so here are some steps to take to help make sure your asthma isn’t an issue when you belt out your holiday carols.
Wash Hands Frequently Respiratory infections can cause serious setbacks in lung health for people with asthma. To stay healthy, wash your hands frequently. When soap and water are not readily available, use a dab of hand sanitizer to prevent colds and flu.
Get a Flu Shot The CDC suggests that everyone with asthma who is six months and older should get a flu shot to protect against the flu. Back in 2001, our Airways Clinical Research Center Network released results of its first study, which found that flu shots are safe for children and adults with asthma as the vaccination does not worsen asthma symptoms. So, even though people with asthma are not more likely to get the flu, the influenza infection can be more serious for them, even if their asthma is well-controlled. If you do get sick with flu symptoms, call your doctor as soon as possible to receive timely treatment to avoid serious complications from the flu.
Keep Your Medicine Close Whether traveling by car, train or plane, keep quick-relief and controller medications in a carry-on for quick and easy access just in case your travel plans are delayed or the change in environment causes asthma symptoms. If traveling far from home, make sure to bring an extra written prescription in case your asthma medication is lost or destroyed. You will also want to keep your insurance card and healthcare provider contact information on hand in case of an emergency.
Follow Your Asthma Action Plan With the number of parties and outside activities, it may be difficult to stick to your regular routine. However, we encourage you to follow your asthma action plan to manage or avoid your symptom triggers and keep you in the holiday spirit. If traveling, you may want to keep a copy of your plan with you so that your friends and family can be prepared in case of an emergency.
Yes, the holidays can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. While there is no cure for asthma, it can be managed and treated so that people with asthma can be active and healthy and enjoy their lives to the fullest. With a bit of planning and care, those living with asthma can stay safe and enjoy their marshmallows for toasting and parties for hosting!