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Selecting an Allergy-Free Hotel Room

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Selecting an Allergy-Free Hotel Room

Hotel rooms are full of allergens, such as mold, dust mites, and animal dander that can cause allergic rhinitis and trigger asthma.  Hotel rooms can also contain irritants such as cigarette smoke or chemical fumes from cleaners or carpeting that can make allergy symptoms worse.  

Allergy-proof rooms are now available in some hotel chains. Hyatt Hotels now offer allergy free rooms.  You can also search for allergy free rooms at www.pureroom.com. Allergy free rooms can cost about $20 -$30 more per night’s stay. If you cannot find an allergy free hotel, try some of the following suggestions.

Request non-smoking rooms if allergy-proof rooms are not available.    

Avoid mold by not staying in rooms that smell musty or damp or that have visible mold in the bathroom. Try to avoid rooms located too near the pool. If you are allergic to mold, rooms such as these will certainly make you sick.

Stay in rooms with air conditioners if you are allergic to pollen and traveling during the pollen season.  Remember to close any vents that bring air into the room from the outside.

Avoid hotels that permit pets to stay in the rooms if you are allergic to animal dander.

Bring along allergy-proof covers, especially for pillows, if you are allergic to dust mites and staying for more than two or three nights. 

Request that the hotel provide synthetic pillows and comforter if feathers bother you.  Some people may want to travel with their own pillow.

Portable HEPA air filter systems for extreme cases are available to take along.

Inspect your room before occupying it.  Do not hesitate to speak up if anything about the room concerns you.

 

TAKING MEDICATIONS WITH YOU

Keep all your medications with you at all times.  If flying or riding a bus or train, keep your prescriptions and medical devices with you in a carry on bag.  Once you reach your destination, always keep your medications with you.

Keep medications in their original containers.  You’ll have the proper dosage information available if someone else needs to administer your medications.  Also, if traveling through customs or security checkpoints, officials are less suspicious of pills in their original containers.

Portable nebulizers are available for travel. Your doctor can help you arrange for one.  Do not forget extra batteries and, if traveling internationally, voltage adapters.

Arrangements for allergy injections need to be made if you are going to be gone for longer than a month.  Transfer your allergy extract to the physician in the new location in a refrigerated or ice-insulated pack along with detailed written instructions from you doctor back home regarding dose and administration.

 

AIR TRAVEL

Airline passenger cabins are concentrated with allergens and irritants.  Specifically, dust mite concentrations may be at very high levels. Also, if animal dander is a concern, call ahead to make certain no animals are scheduled to be in the passenger area of your flight.  It is recommended to close the air vent while on the plane.

You may need to adjust your medications if you expect increased exposure to triggers.  Consult your physician ahead of time to evaluate your allergy or asthma treatment plan.

Remember changes in time zones may affect the dosage schedule of some of the medications you may be taking.  Discuss this concern with your physician.

 

AIRPORT SECURITY CHECKS

Increased security at airports has caused some concern about carrying emergency injectable epinephrine on board.  Even though the needle maybe concealed, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not placed it on the forbidden list for carry on-items.  However, they cannot guarantee that a security inspector will allow you to take one on board.

Carry the epinephrine in the original packaging and prescription label with you.

You should request that your epinephrine be inspected visually rather than x‑rayed since the effects of x‑rays on epinephrine are unknown. Make sure your medication is clearly labeled; you may want to write your name on it as well.  Be able to explain why you need to have epinephrine and how the device works. Finally, it’s not mandatory, but you can carry a letter from your physician on official letterhead stating that your epinephrine is a prescription medication needed to treat potentially life-threatening emergencies.  

Have a safe and healthy journey.