Summer is here and so is vacation season! Allergies are very common during spring through fall across the country. This means that no matter where you travel to, you may run into problems with allergies and asthma. However, you don’t have to if you prepare yourself!

Different altitudes, climates and air quality can affect your breathing if you have asthma. Some suffer more symptoms in dry climates and high altitudes due to the thin air. Others have a harder time breathing in thicker, more humid air. Allergies can also affect breathing in different geographical areas. You may be somewhere with more tree pollen compared to where you live. If this happens and you are allergic to trees, you may have more allergy symptoms. These symptoms can include sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy throat and eyes and more. Congestion and throat clearing can lead to coughing and ultimately more difficult time breathing.

If you suffer from allergies and are planning to travel, check the daily pollen count in the areas you are planning to visit. This can ultimately save you from suffering daily symptoms. If you know you are going to be somewhere with a high pollen count, be sure to pack your daily medications and/or allergy products. This may include your sinus rinse kit, anti-histamines (if you run out of them, you can purchase more over-the-counter anti-histamines at a local store), nasal steroid sprays, nasal saline sprays, epi-pens, and more.

If you have asthma and are planning to travel, make sure you check the air quality and what the weather will be like. Sometimes rainstorms will clear out pollen; however, they can also cause humidity, making the air thicker and possibly more difficult to breathe in. Either way, it is important to pack your daily inhaler (if you are on one), as well as your rescue inhaler. There is no worse feeling that being sick while on vacation.

Another important thing to check before leaving for a trip is your medication refills and how many pills or sprays you have left. If you are close to running out, check to see if you can refill the medication a few days early. If you can’t fill it early, call your doctor to see if they have a sample, or find a local pharmacy in the area you are planning to visit, and have your physician call in a refill there. Also, always make sure to have your insurance card with you while out of town.

Traveling is a great thing and it can be fun without suffering from allergies and asthma! Next time you are planning a trip, don’t forget your allergies and asthma. You can still enjoy different climates and weather without suffering from symptoms. You can live a symptom-free life without restrictions!