Asthma problems in Bangkok?

Mar 27th, 2006, 08:23 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 252
Asthma problems in Bangkok?

hey everyone... has anyone ever had any asthma problems in Bangkok??? On our recent trip to Krabi, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Hanoi, my wife (who only has asthma problems when exposed to certain cleaning products and harsh chemicals) had some problems but only in Bangkok... she started noticing some slight problems a few hours after landing... and then after touring around all the next day, wound up with a pretty bad attack taht night...

Has anyone else had any similar experiences??? We loved Bangkok and would love to revisit it some time in the future - but we want to make sure that she won't have any more problems... does anyone have any thoughts/ideas???

Thanks... Ken
khtodd is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 08:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,628
I expect that it depends on exactly what she is being exposed to in the air. I don't have asthma, but I am sensitive to polluntants. I do ok in Bangkok because I stay by the river and the air seems cleaner there. Elsewhere in Bangkok, I'm often in air conditioned places, so that makes a difference. I had more trouble in Chaing Mai (years ago) as there was an inversion layer and the air was much worse than Bangkok on that visit. One of our days in Hanoi, the air was very bad, the other days it was ok. So I expect that you can do some things to help the situation, but a lot of it is how variable the pollution levels are. (If she had trouble in Bangkok - don't go to Bejing!!)
Kathie is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:34 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,835
It's a big city with polluted air as in many big cities...so of course such problems are likely to occur. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:39 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,925
to me one of the keys is what kathie has said....stay, as much as possible, in a/c areas....

doesn't she have medecine that she takes to control this? if so why not take a dose before prolonged outdoor times??

i find the different flora and fauna can cause my allergies to act up...
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:55 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 252
thanks everyone for all the responses... It was very strange when it happened - it didn't happen all at once, it just got progressively worse throughout the day... and yes, she used her inhaler as much as possible (as much as the dosage allowed) but by the end of the day she was still having problems...

I can't imagine what the problem was caused by though... we live in Manhattan which is certainly not the cleanest air in the world, and she never has problems. And certainly Hanoi had its fair share of pollution from all the motorbikes, and she had no problem there either... And, there was a lot of haze in Chiang Mai -because our guide said that this time of year, a lot of the farmers burn their fields to make room for the new crop... and no problems there...

I was just curious if anyone else had similar problems or if anyone knew of any special medication other than inhalers that might help solve the problem...

Bob, I think it's a good idea to spend more time in the a/c... we spent a long time taht day seeing lots of sights and the klong tour... yes, we spent a lot of time in the car (especially in the traffic when they would suddenly close streets due to some demonstration - but more about that in the trip report coming up), but I think if we spent more time indoors it would certainly help...

Thanks for all the input!!!

Ken
khtodd is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 10:27 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 888
I am so sorry to hear that your wife had a bad attack whilst in Bangkok.

Whilst London is by no means as polluted as Bangkok, a recent research study found that you are better off in London - from the perspective of the quality of the air you breathe in/levels of pollution particles etc - to be walking than driving through/sat in traffic. The worst place to be was in the back of a cab or taxi - as in that case you are directly in the 'firing line' so to speak as the emissions from the exhaust of the car in front come straight through the air vents and into the back of the car.

So, another means of limiting exposure in Bangkok would be to use other forms of transport rather than taxis - e.g. express boat and sky train as much as possible (am not suggesting walking, unless you want to arrive 'glowing'!). I think staying on the river and staying in air con as much as possible are also good suggestions. Also, air quality deteriorates as the day goes on so start early and don't stay out all day. It gives you a very good excuse in the evening to eat at restaurants high in the sky such as Vertigo and the one at the State Tower - Sirocco?
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 12:45 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 252
Bella - thanks for your input... that study is very interesting - did it mention whether the study was conducted with the taxi's fan only or the a/c on?? And if it was with the a/c on, did they test the 2 conditions of it in the recirculating mode and fresh air mode??

Thanks... Ken
khtodd is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 06:25 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,925
ken--one more item that may affect things is the amount of flowers and trees in bkk vs in nyc....that and the pollution can cause havoc
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:02 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 888
I am trying to find the news reports of the studying and failing at the moment! Will do a further search this evening.

Bob makes a good point - my daughter has v v mild asthma but what triggered off the worst attack I have seen is hugging a tree in Portugal (I know - toddlers...). The paediatrician said that the fact the tree was not 'native' to her meant in this case it was an allergen - she had had no exposure to it previously.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 11:17 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 703
As a long-time asthmatic the trick for me is to avoid A/C and get a fan room in a city like BKK.

Likewise I travel around in open-seated vehicles like tuk-tuks afap.

Harzer
harzer is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 04:52 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 252
Thanks again for all the input... we were sitting around last night talking about the experience again - and we started to realize how much time we spent in the car driving from place to place (or actually sitting around in traffic most of the time)... She definitely does recall the asthma getting worse as she sat in the car... I think the next time we go (and yes, we'll definitely be going back!) we'll stick primarily to river taxi, skytrain and short taxi rides to avoid sitting in the traffic for half the day... and I think it'll help if we split up our days - spend the mornings outside, and the afternoons inside - just to limit our outside street exposure...

Plus, sometime soon, we're going to be talking to our travel doctor to see if she has any other advice/medication she can take in advance as a precaution - in addition to the "after the fact" inhaler.

Thanks again for all the thoughts and suggestions... Ken
khtodd is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 04:43 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 16
Hi there I read your message a few days ago and didn't think about it much. I have a degree in medicinal chemistry, so i'm not a doctor but i know my stuff fairly well. Also i suffered from Childhood asthma. I actually think your asthma has nothing to do with Bangkok Perse. I would say it isn't even asthsma hence why your inhaler isn't working. I think your wife is having an allergy attack. Athsmatics have pitiful lungs and allergies almost always cause wheezing and athsma like symptoms in athsmatics. I think your wife is either allergic to ground level ozone (which is smog) or diesel fumes. I would bet on the diesel fumes since Bangkok is probably too hot for smog accumulation (in cities like LA the haze burns off at around noon in the heat imagine a city like bangkok) so I reccomend going to Watsons and get some anti-histamine such as claritin. Also see your doctor and get an allergy test, I know my childhood asthma went away when my parents quit smoking turns out i was deathly allergic

-M
Marc_from_Canada is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 11:58 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 888
I'm not a doctor either but I do know that air pollutants are a well known and recognised trigger for asthma symptoms (as is cigarette smoke and other allergens). Asthma is a condition that can be triggered by an allergic reaction, so I think you cannot separate the two in this way Marc:

http://www.asthma.org.uk/all_about_a..._az/index.html
Bella_Bluebell is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:27 PM.