Site Map

Traveling with breathing problems

Oxygen - travel; Collapsed lung - travel; Chest surgery - travel; COPD - travel; Chronic obstructive airways disease - travel; Chronic obstructive lung disease - travel; Chronic bronchitis - travel; Emphysema - travel

I Would Like to Learn About:

Talk With Your Doctor About Traveling

If you have breathing problems and you:

If you were in the hospital for your breathing problems and had:

Also talk to your doctor if you plan to travel in a place at a high altitude (such as Colorado or Utah).

Oxygen and air Travel

Two weeks before you travel, tell your airline that you will need oxygen on the plane. (The airline may not be able to accommodate you if you tell them less than 48 hours before your flight.)

Airlines and airports will not provide oxygen while you are not on an airplane. This includes before and after the flight, and during a layover. Call your oxygen supplier who may be able to help.

On the day of travel:

Stay Away From Infections

Get a flu shot every year to help prevent infection. Ask your doctor if you need a pneumonia shot. Get one if you do.

Wash your hands often. Stay away from crowds. Ask visitors who have a cold to wear a mask.

Find out About Medical Care Where you are Going

Have a name, phone number, and address of a doctor. DO NOT go to areas that do not have good medical care.

Bring enough medicine, even some extra. Bring copies of your recent medical records with you.

Contact your oxygen company and find out if they can provide oxygen in the city you are traveling to.

Other Travel Tips

You should:

Related Information

Lung surgery
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Interstitial lung disease
Asthma
Breathing difficulty
COPD - control drugs
COPD - quick-relief drugs
Using oxygen at home
Oxygen safety
Asthma - child - discharge
Bronchiolitis - discharge
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - adults - discharge
Pneumonia in children - discharge
Lung surgery - discharge
Using oxygen at home - what to ask your doctor

References

American Lung Association website. What goes in an asthma or COPD travel pack? www.lung.org/about-us/blog/2017/09/asthma-copd-travel-pack.html. Updated March 16, 2018. Accessed July 23, 2019.

American Thoracic Society website. Oxygen therapy. www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/oxygen-therapy.pdf. Updated April 2016. Accessed February 28, 2018.

COPD Foundation website. Oxygen therapy. www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Living-with-COPD/Oxygen-Therapy.aspx. Updated June 2015. Accessed February 28, 2018.

Luks AM, Schiene RB, Swenson ER. High altitude. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 77.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 2/18/2018  

Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 07/23/2019.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.