Millions of visitors come to the United States every year on a tourist visa. Many of them have medical needs. The following healthcare tips can help you stay safe and healthy while visiting the USA.
US Tourist Medical Tips
- If you wear spectacles (prescription glasses), write down the prescription of your lenses in case you need to replace them in the US. You should also carry a couple of extra pairs of spectacles with you as they are very expensive in the US. If you wear contact lenses instead, you should carry at least one extra pair with you. You should also carry necessary eye drops, ointments, lens cleaner solutions, etc. with you. If you need to replace your glasses in the US, consider investing in a dental/vision discount plan to save on replacement frames.
- If you are regularly taking medicines, make sure your bring enough for the entire duration of your stay in the US. You can get basic medicines without a prescription (over the counter in pharmacies) for common problems such as a cough, cold, headache, mild fever etc. If you require a prescription for the medicine, the pharmacy will not give it to you unless you have a prescription from a US doctor. A prescription from a foreign doctor is not acceptable at the pharmacy. Please note that if you are carrying any medicines that contain narcotic drugs or are addictive, you should get a doctor’s certificate saying that it is medically necessary or else you may run into serious problems at customs.
- It is best to get a thorough check-up of your body before traveling to the US, to avoid any surprise while on your visit. You can also ask the doctor about traveling precautions and make a list of all the medicines and their compositions, as you will not find the same brand of medicines in the USA.
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- If you have problems while traveling such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, ear pain, etc, you should consult your doctor before traveling and get the appropriate medicine to take care of it.
- During takeoff and landing, the cabin pressure changes which may cause ear blocking and ear pain. This may be relieved by chewing gum, or by opening your mouth widely as if you were yawning. Carry candies to chew and some cotton balls to stuff your ears, as they are not provided in most of the international flights.
- If you are diabetic or a gastric patient, you may request fruits in the airplane while traveling.
- If you already have a cold, it may get worse while traveling. It is advisable to carry some nasal drops or other cold medicines. You should always consult your doctor first regarding this.
- If you get seriously ill or injured while visiting the US, you may have to visit a doctor or hospital. This can be extremely expensive. To ensure you are not stuck with a medical bill that is larger than what you can afford, you should invest in visitors insurance for the full duration of your USA trip.
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