Travel Tips for People with LEMS

Emily Malcolm, PhD avatar

by Emily Malcolm, PhD |

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Traveling can be challenging when you have a rare disease like Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS).

Here are some tips to help you travel safely:

Before travel

Planning ahead is key to ensuring that everything goes smoothly. Talk with your doctor about the medications you will need, as well as any special measures you should take while traveling. You may need authorization to carry your medication through airport security. Alternatively, you may be able to get your prescriptions filled at your destination.

If you have trouble walking, check with your travel agent and the airline to make sure you will have enough time between flights to get to different gates. Decide whether it would be easier for you to have an aisle or a window seat.

Many patients with LEMS need equipment to walk. This might be a brace, cane, wheelchair, or electronic scooter. It’s a good idea to have a letter from your doctor stating that you need to travel with medical equipment. You should also make sure that the airline and travel agency know that you need special accommodations.

It can be worthwhile to discuss with your physician where you are going and what activities you’re planning for your trip, to ensure that you have chosen locations and activities that are appropriate for you, as well as to determine whether you need to take any special precautions.

During travel

It’s important to carry with you (and not in your checked luggage) essential paperwork such as health insurance card, travel insurance, and your physician’s letter detailing any medical equipment or medication needed during travel.

If you feel unwell at any time, alert the crew of your flight, cruise, or train immediately so that you can get rapid medical help.

At the destination

You should make sure you’re prepared to deal with the climate and environment at your destination. Pack appropriate clothing, and plan activities that will not be too strenuous.

Make sure you know the locations of local clinics for timely medical care or access to equipment such as wheelchairs or motorized scooters. Even if you don’t usually need a wheelchair, you may find that in a new location and climate, you are more easily tired than at home. Take care not to overdo things, especially if you are in pain or are experiencing fatigue.


Last updated: Feb. 17, 2020


Lambert-Eaton News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.