Discover tips for managing life with HAE
Living with hereditary angioedema (HAE) isn’t always easy. An HAE attack can be more than an interruption in your daily routine. It can be physically and emotionally painful, sometimes scary and even potentially life-threatening. But having a management plan in place could help you restore a better quality of life.
Here are some tips for your journey with HAE:
- Have a plan in case of emergency
- Keep a journal
- Be prepared when you travel
- Talk with people about your condition
- Use stress management techniques
Have a plan in case of an emergency
Fifty percent of people with HAE will have an attack of swelling in their throat at least once in their lifetime. Because throat attacks put you at risk of suffocation and can be life-threatening, everyone with HAE should have a plan in place in case of this emergency.
Talk with your doctor about what to do in an emergency and make sure you share the information with the people you’re around most. They may need to help you take the necessary steps.
You should know where the nearest emergency room is and how to get there. It can also help for you to contact the hospitals in your area and notify them of your condition so they will be familiar with HAE should you need urgent care.
Keep a journal
Many people living with HAE find it helpful to keep track of their HAE attacks. Consider keeping a journal to help:
- Identify the triggers of your attacks. When you keep details about what you were doing, eating and feeling before an attack, you can look for similarities among the episodes.
- Communicate with your doctor. Having a record of the severity and location(s) of your attacks gives your doctor a way to assess and adjust your treatment plan.
Be prepared when you travel
Whether you’re taking a trip for work or fun, it’s a good idea to be prepared for any curveballs HAE might throw. Here are some things to keep in mind when traveling:
- If you are using medication to treat your HAE, make sure to pack enough for your whole trip.
- If you're flying, it's a good idea to get in touch with the TSA to make sure you know the most current rules on flying with medication. You might also consider bringing a doctor’s note to help explain your condition if you’re questioned by airport security.
- In case of an emergency, make sure you know where the nearest hospitals and emergency rooms are in the area where you’ll be traveling.
- If you should happen to need medical attention while you're out of town, it's a good idea to bring information about HAE along with you in case you need to explain it to a doctor who is unfamiliar with the condition. It's also a good idea to keep your Medical ID and insurance information handy.
Talk with people about your condition
Of course, your health information is a personal matter, but it's important that your close friends, family and coworkers know that you have HAE. Have an open and honest conversation with them so they know how to support you and what steps they should take in case of an emergency.
Want help explaining HAE? You can download and print the information in our Digital Awareness Kit.
Use stress management techniques
Emotional stress has been identified as a trigger for many people with HAE. Make time every day to do something that helps you de-stress.