Asthma, allergy: managing your disease

On holiday, people with allergies or asthma tend to forget their treatment. Attention to this "summer break" which far from being innocuous can handicap the control of these chronic diseases. All our tips for a summer without a crisis!

Do not give up your treatment during the summer!

In the United States, there are 3.5 million people with asthma and this asthma is of allergic origin in 70 to 80% of cases. For these people, the departure on holidays is often synonymous with break with the daily, Want to forget his worries. An insouciance which translates in the aspiration to put in brackets its treatment. Attention, this neglect is not without consequence.

Tips for asthmatic vacationer

It is not easy to take regular treatment during the holidays, during which the patient aspires to more freedom and to forget his illness. However, for asthmatics, this behavior is not without consequence on the control of asthma. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 50% of people with chronic illnesses are not adequately observing their treatment.2 In asthmatics, this lack of compliance varies widely, but can range up to 60 % Or even 80% depending on the populations and criteria used 3.


"People with asthma often have difficulty accepting that they suffer from a chronic illness, since the disease is sometimes silent and marked by more frequent or less frequent seizures, they have difficulty resigning themselves to treatment "Said Marc Humbert, a respirologist at the Antoine Béclère Hospital in Clamart." This is one of the keys to optimal control. " It is therefore necessary to explain to the patient the physiopathology of asthma which involves periods of absence of symptoms but which nevertheless requires regular treatment.

"Not only does the patient no longer have the usual benchmarks that are associated with taking the treatment, but he aspires to free himself from this constraint to appreciate the holiday's carelessness!" The pollen period ended, the warm and dry climate of the 'Less stress can contribute to a feeling of well-being that motivates the patient to be less observant,' explains Prof. Marc Humbert. Result: with fewer symptoms, some patients neglect their treatment 5.

But beyond its psychological and physiological causes, it is sometimes practical reasons that motivate this decision: renewal of the prescription before leaving, sufficient provision of treatment ... Thus, Michel Vergé confesses that between the interruption of His stay abroad without the possibility of finding his treatment and the return home, he made the choice of holidays ... Result "In the month of November, I felt a strong exacerbation of my severe asthma of origin My respiratory capacity had decreased by half and my cough had resumed ". The risk is to undergo a return of stick at the beginning of the school year.

"The patient spontaneously evokes this cessation of summer treatment in consultation on his return from vacation because he does not yet feel the effects, but this temporary stoppage causes not only after a few weeks a decrease in control of asthma , Which coincides with the wetter autumn period and the return to the stress of everyday life, which accentuate these symptoms, "says Prof. Marc Humbert.

To avoid this problem, the doctor must interact with the patient before departure, to give him some advice to enjoy the holidays without neglecting his asthma

In conclusion, holidays are synonymous with rest and relaxation, more reason to continue to take care of yourself! "Background treatments are in most cases very effective and asthmatics are relieved, feel better, tend to forget their illness and the temptation to stop treatment is very strong. It is not always easy to integrate the notion that one has to treat oneself when one is well ... to avoid going wrong !" Concludes Christine Rolland, director of the association Asthme & Allergies.

1 - Asthma Prevention Program - Ministry of Employment and Solidarity 2002-2005 2 - WHO 2003, Horne R.2003 3 - Anaes - Recommendations for the medical follow-up of adult asthma patients and adolescents 4 - Chest Rob Horne 2006

During the stay, take care of situations at risk: physical effort, indoor environment of the holiday resort (dust mites, animal hair, molds, tobacco ...) And external framework (pollens, pollution ...)