TIPS FOR DEALING WITH ALTITUDE SICKNESS

You may love to travel by plane or take hikes up mountains, but your

altitude sickness

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.

For hikers:

  • 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
    altitude.
  • 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
    long 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
coughing:

  • 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
    comfortable with.
  • 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.