People planning a vacation should consider their destination and how it will affect their allergies, especially rhinitis. Many beautiful areas have excessive pollen, especially in the spring season. Visitors should be aware that they may experience nasal allergies at their vacation destination, but that should not keep them from enjoying their vacation if they are prepared.

Personal Products

People with nasal allergies should take their usual antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, inhalers and eye drops with them on vacation in case they are needed. Consider this as the allergy relief kit. All medications should be in the prescription bottles or original packaging.

Many people head to desert resorts for a vacation in the winter and spring. Dust and other allergens can be a problem in desert areas. Many desert resorts have green golf courses and lush landscaping with trees and flowers that pollinate.

Dust storms can trigger allergies, so it is best to stay indoors should one occur. Hotels should have adequate air conditioning and heating so that windows can stay closed until the storm passes. Shower in the evening to wash off any pollen or dust that might accumulate on clothes or on your body and hair. You can bring your own dust-mite proof pillowcase.

Visitors to tropical islands in the Caribbean or Hawaii may be exposed to mold spores, which are common allergens. Hotel guests are advised to check their rooms or rented condos for mold build up in the bathrooms and kitchens.

Tropical resorts also often have golf courses with lush vegetation so it may not be unusual to experience some sinus irritation. It is advisable to check with a doctor and make sure you have the right products before your vacation. A steroid nasal spray or inhaler may be the best defense against respiratory irritations at your destination.

Insect bites

Wear protective clothing and use insect repellent if you are visiting a region with mosquitoes and other flying insects. Wear closed-toe shoes rather than flip-flops if you are in areas with crawling insects.

Take anti-inch creams, aloe vera gel and other lotions with corticosteroids that can help with insect bites. Antihistamines such as Benadryl also help with common itching from bites. Ice helps with itching and acetaminophen can reduce minor pain and swelling.

The same products can also be used after exposure to poison oak, ivy or other plants. Colloidal oatmeal products, including soap, are also helpful with allergic plant reactions.

Be aware of other abnormal reactions such as swollen feet or eyes.  Severe hives, rashes and other reactions may need to be treated at a local clinic.

Food allergies

Be careful of the meals you order if you have allergic reactions to some foods. Most airlines no longer serve peanuts out of respect for passengers allergic to nuts. Eat in recommended restaurants and drink bottled water if you are concerned about food and drink in the areas you visit.

Too much sun and alcoholic drinks can make people sick. Some people experience swelling in the sinus passages from various alcoholic drinks.

Take antacid medication with you if you have a sensitive stomach. You may also want to carry anti-diarrhea medication.

Anaphylaxis shock

People with severe allergic reactions can experience shortness of breath and even cardiac arrest from some insect bites, foods and drinks. If any of these symptoms appear, seek immediate medical attention. Epinephrine is usually administered to counteract anaphylaxis reactions. If you have an EpiPen, keep it with you at all times if you are in danger of a severe allergic reaction.

Nausea, dizziness and a weak pulse are also symptoms requiring immediate medical assistance.

Jellyfish stings

These colorful creatures may not actually be seen when you are swimming in the ocean. Their tentacles can break off and float in the water. You may experience a stinging sensation and see a string of little red circles on your arms and legs if you come into contact with the often invisible tentacles. The stinging will eventually go away but the area should be washed with fresh water and vinegar. Vinegar neutralizes the toxins. Aloe vera gel can also ease the stinging and itching.

Atmospheric conditions

Changes in the weather can affect sinuses. Traveling from cold to warm weather, or from wet to dry weather can trigger nasal allergies. Altitude can also impact sinuses. Airplane cabins are very dry, so drink lots of water and other non-alcoholic drinks during long flights.

American Sinus Institute

People with serious sinus allergies should contact the American Sinus Institute for information on the balloon sinuplasty procedure using the Honrubia Technique to treat severe conditions. ASI is a leader in this non-surgical procedure that reduces swelling in the nasal passages for people with allergies and other sinus problems.

Contact us for any additional information.