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Camping with Allergies

Problems with allergies and asthma often limit a person’s ability to enjoy outdoor activities, especially during allergy season. This is often very problematic during the more intense, prolonged outdoor exposure people have while camping.

To make matters worse, campfire smoke can cause further irritation to the upper and lower respiratory tract. These concerns often lead people to avoid camping and similar activities. The best way to keep allergies and asthma from limiting outdoor activities is to make sure that allergy and asthma concerns are kept well-controlled during the entire allergy season, including those areas outlined above (“How Do I Stay Allergy-Free This Spring?”). Even if a person doesn’t routinely take an antihistamine, it may be helpful to add a good low-sedating or non-sedating antihistamine on a daily basis while camping. (In fact, start the antihistamine at least two hours prior to going on the camping trip so it can have time to be absorbed and working as soon as Mother Nature starts presenting her challenges.)

If a person has asthma, it is really critical that it be well-controlled prior to a camping trip or similar activity. It’s also important for the individual with asthma to have their rescue inhaler (usually albuterol) available at all times. If there are symptoms such as coughing, breathing tightness, or wheezing, it is perfectly appropriate to use the rescue inhaler. Of course, continue any controller medications such as inhaled steroid medication during the camping trip as well. Most important, taking a more preventative approach with allergy and asthma can dramatically minimize symptoms and can keep allergy and asthma from limiting a person’s activities.

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