Here are some common pre-existing conditions and how to deal with them while travelling.
Glasses and Contact Lenses
If your vision requires you to wear glasses, be sure to bring an extra pair in case one is lost or broken. Similarly with contact lenses, make sure to carry extra or glasses.
The availability of prescription medication varies a great deal around the world, so it is always a good idea to bring extra in case some are lost or your trip is longer than originally planned. Always keep your medications with you at all times and never pack them in your checked luggage. If you are traveling with someone else, then consider splitting your medication into two batches and each of you carry half in your carry-on luggage. By splitting the medication, you should also have a backup in case your bag is lost or stolen.
Your doctor may only write prescriptions within the country they are licensed to work, therefore bringing a written from home to a foreign country serves no purpose EXCEPT to inform a foreign doctor what prescription you are taking. To avoid problems with customs, make sure to bring your prescription medication in their original pharmacy-labeled bottle or package. The same advice applies to non-prescription medication as well (e.g., headache relief pills).
We also recommended that if you are taking multiple prescription medications that you bring a summary of these medications, including the name of the drug, dose, and frequency to provide to medical personnel in the event of an accident or hospitalization.
As battery quality and sizes vary around the world, ensure that you pack extra batteries for your hearing aid so that you do not have to spend countless hours or days searching for batteries on your travels.
If you are pregnant and are considering a trip, discuss the trip with your doctor prior to travel. Many types of travel are not safe during pregnancy and often travel insurance is void during certain stages of pregnancy.
If you are a diabetic, then any travel requires great consideration. Discuss the trip with your doctor first and consider these points:
- If traveling over many time zones your meal schedules may altered.
- Often during travel accessibility to food may be limited.
- Always bring snacks with you to avoid hypoglycemia.
- Many airport security checks require a doctor's note stating your requirement to carry needles. Most of the time they don't ask but avoid a hassle and be prepared.
- If you are insulin dependent be sure to bring extra vials incase of breakage. You can wrap the vials in duct tape to prevent breakage but make sure you label them.
- For insulin dependent diabetics, consider your insulin's refrigeration requirements when planning your travel activities. Make sure to review the details of the refrigeration requirements prior to travel.
Respiratory Diseases (Asthma)
Travelers with respiratory diseases including asthma my find that travel exacerbates the problem. The change in air quality, altitude, activity levels and diet are examples of triggers leading to attacks. Be sure to have your puffers on hand where ever you go.
Written by Kim Romaine