Altitude sickness is a very common thing, especially for those who live at or closer to sea level compared to those that live at higher elevations.
If you feel altitude sickness you may have a headache, be dizzy, be nauseous, experience shortness of breath, be extra tired, have a hard time sleeping, or lose your appetite. In severe cases, you could even throw up. Yuck!
When you travel to higher elevations, do you tend to suffer from altitude sickness? Do you have any remedies you could share with others in the comments?
Most airliner cabins top out at 8000′ during climb out and goes down to destination altitude during the descent. A few are a little lower.
No additional oxygen is added to the cabin. It is just compressed and cooled outside air.
Depends. If I fly into a high altitude city. Even Denver @ 5k ft, I will get headache & have trouble sleeping. Definitely worse if I drink alcohol. Which I don’t until I’m acclimated. If we travel by motorhome & we gradually climb for a few days I’m ok. Drink plenty of water.
Always a flatlander living in Florida but never bothered by our favorite type of vacation – in the mountains. Alps, Rockies, etc. no problem. But after we started traveling in our motorhome we did have one problem; one we never even considered. Going through a high mountain pass in the Rockies a seam blew out in our Sleep Number bed. We never thought to reduce the settings. Now we know better.
I grew up in the Rocky Mountains; so I do not suffer; but my husband gets it; He, at first, denied it; but after pointing out the brain fog, tiredness; at the slight shortness of breath when hiking, he accepted that it was there, So I purchased hiker’s O2; light weight supplement O2 cans you can purchase at hiking stores; or Amazon, very reasonably priced; He just needs a puff or two, and begins to feel better. People can get this brain fog even when driving through high passes; and mountain ranges, good to always have hiker O2 on hand
Coming from sea level to the Rockies and Black hills never bothered me, but our 1968 VW Bus Westfalia definitely suffered from attitude sickness.
Attitude sickness, Kelly? Yeah, I have that sometimes, myself. Doesn’t matter what the elevation is. 😆 Have a great day. 😀 -Diane
We spent almost a month in Colorado back in 2017. I think that because we started out easy and worked our way up to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National park before we went to Pikes Peak, neither of us had any trouble. I think that if we had flown in and then treked up it might have been different. Love that the RV living gives us the opportunity to see the highs and lows of our county.
We are going to Breckinridge in July and I have seasonal asthma related allergies at home, but not in the mountains. I always take several inhalers and we do have a rolling oxygen tank on board just in case. My nose tends to bleed slightly while we are there. We always take the fur kids on the doggie gondola in Keystone and that’s over 12,000 altitude for the fun, but do not stay very long on the mountain. Looking forward to getting out of this Texas heat.
Lived in a ski resort 42 years with elevation of 7000′. Feel funny at sea level.
my house is at 5350 feet and I hike the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico frequently, so no issue.
Altitude Sickness is more than just feeling a little dizzy or short of breath. Those things are perfectly normal at higher altitudes just because of the lower oxygen levels, particularly if you ascend quickly which is why Pike’s Peak is mentioned so often. Actual altitude sickness is a life threatening condition and sufferers need to get to lower elevations immediately.
While traveling the mountains of Yellowstone National Park & Grand Tetons last year my wife & I both had severe headaches & shortness of breath for a day or two. My wife continued slightly longer with nausea. Our elevation was over 9000 feet.
While camping at Grand Canyon NP I experienced shortness of breath and we left after 2 days. Our campground was at 9,000 feet. Not sure if that qualifies as altitude sickness but was not pleasant.
Being from the east coast and living at an elevation of 75 feet, traveling out west to elevations of 7000 ft or more, we had a great concern about altitude sickness. What I learned was that we should take ibuprofen prior to starting to ascend to those heights. My family and I all started taking ibuprofen a few days prior to the trip, a couple of times a day, and I have to say we really didn’t have much other than a little shortness of breath on occasion. Other than that we were fine.
Only ever had any issues when we were at Crater Lake NP in 2012, but that also could have been the sinus infections we were getting over. As a kid, I definitely had issues when we stayed in Denver the first time, but not once we made it to Yellowstone NP.
Years ago while stopping overnight in Greeley Co we enjoyed happy hour before dinner. My wife went to the restroom and was a little dizzy. She met a woman and said, it must be the altitude. We met the same woman at breakfast. She asked ” how’s the altitude this morning? “
I have previously hiked & backpacked at higher elevations in AZ & Colorado( above 9,000 ft). In 2017 was on a BP trip in the John Muir Trail(started out at 9,700, went up to 13,000+) and had issues with sleeping, shortness of breath, and no appetite. Checked in with my Dr. upon return to FL and she prescribed 2 drugs to take. They seemed to help!
It happened to me just one time. We flew from Burbank Airport to Colorado Springs, picked up our rental car and went over to check in at our hotel. The room wasn’t ready, so we drove to the top of Pike’s Peak. No problems on the way up. However, once I got out of the car I could barely walk and keep my head elevated. it felt like a ton of bricks were on top of my head. I had to sit down for most of the time up there. Luckily, I was able to go back another time when we drove the RV and stayed in Colorado Springs. No problems the second time. I guess going from sea level to over 14,000 feet took its toll on my system.
I have the advantage at starting out at a little over a mile high. So, at least so far, no problems but that may change as I age.
A good solution is taking full strength aspirin and drink a lot of water for a few days before you gain elevation
Having lived 20 years in Colorado, my advice to high-altitude visitors is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate by drinking water, and start before arriving at high altitude. Periodically take a single aspirin to help your heart pump thinned blood through your body. Don’t drink alcohol and limit strenuous exercise until acclimated. Ditto with hot tubs. An oxygen concentrator can make a big difference if you experience altitude sickness and will definitely help with disrupted sleep patterns. The problem is that you need a prescription for them. If you experience extreme symptoms, seek medical care.