You may love to travel by plane or take hikes up mountains, but your
could be getting in the way of your enjoyment. If you are one of the many
people who experience altitude sickness, then these tips are for you:
To Prevent Altitude Sickness
Ideally, you want to head off the problem before it starts to affect you.
- Ascend slowly. The longer you take to get up to a high elevation, the
more your body will have time to adjust to the changes in pressure and
- Sleep at lower altitudes. Your body experiences its lowest oxygen
levels when it is sleeping. That’s why you want to make sure that you
do your sleeping at lower altitudes, when possible. You can go up to
higher elevations during the day.
- Don’t drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol while travelling to a higher
elevation can worse your condition, so wait until your body adjusts to
the increased altitude.
- Medicate to prevent problems. Finally, take some medication as
recommended by your doctor (
such as Acetazolamide
For airplane travelers:
- Once again, Acetazolamide can come in useful. Just talk to your doctor
about what medication is right for your particular circumstances.
- Consider taking shorter trips. It may take longer to get where you are
going, but consider flying on several short flights rather than one
Handling Altitude Sickness Once It Occurs
If you are at a high elevation and you did not take preventive measures,
then there are still some things you can do to
handle the symptoms
as they happen. Not everyone knows they will experience this kind of
sickness because they never have before. Here’s what you can do if you
start to feel nauseated, fatigued, experience shortness of breath or start
- Decrease your elevation. It may not always be possible, but sometimes
the best solution is to simply go to lower ground. You may be able to
return back to the higher ground later, after you have recovered. Just
take it slow and make your ascent at a pace that your body is
- Use medication to reduce symptoms. You can talk to a doctor about your
symptoms and get some medical help. Many drugs are available over the
counter to treat altitude sickness, so you can simply visit a pharmacy
for what you need.
- Give your body a chance to heal itself. If your symptoms are not
severe, you can wait it out and see if your body adjusts while at the
high altitude. For more severe symptoms, though, you need to make some
sort of change right away.
- Finally, consider calling your doctor. Some cases of altitude sickness
are so severe that medical help may be the only option.