When you think of Bill Bailey you probably think of ‘Never mind the Buzzcocks’, QI, stand up comedy and crazy musical instruments, but one thing you may not know is that he also suffers from asthma, as I discovered in an article in the Mail on Sunday. He has suffered with asthma from childhood and currently uses medication to keep it under control.
Asthma, an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, affects 1 in 10 children in the UK, and one in 20 adults. The UK has one of the highest prevalence rates for asthma in the world, along with New Zealand, Australia and Ireland.
Asthma can be triggered by physical activity, infections, allergic reactions, smoke, fumes and stress. Bill’s triggers include cold starts to the day or unplanned physical exertion. Such triggers can mean that when you are travelling with asthma abroad, there can be a lot that you need to think about, in the same way that it is important for Bill Bailey when travelling on tour.
Planning your trip well in advance can really help – you should consider the climate, terrain and air quality at your intended destination and discuss a self management plan with your medical professional about any medical conditions you may have. This should include details of what to do in an emergency and contact numbers for advice. You should find out how you can get further supplies of your asthma medication at your destination, in case your existing supplies are lost or damaged. Make sure all your medications have the prescription label and contact details of the pharmacy clearly shown.
If you are planning an activity holiday to include hiking, climbing or skiing remember that high altitude may affect the performance of inhalers, and over-exertion can be a trigger, as is the case with Bill.
You will also need to take out adequate travel insurance to cover your condition, take a look at www.allcleartravel.co.uk. Check out this page for more information on travelling with asthma. http://www.allcleartravel.co.uk/asthma_travel_insurance.html