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Altitude sickness is something that visitors to Colorado commonly experience, and it can affect a traveler's sense of well-being quite profoundly. It's common for travelers to comment that they love the beauty of the state, but oh how they hate what the altitude does to them. In addition to making one feel dizzy or full of nausea, the lack of moisture in the air can cause your hair, skin and eyes to become uncomfortably dry, and may cause chronic nosebleeds. A feeling of breathlessness, especially when exercising, is also commonly reported. However, these symptoms may or may not be medically classified as altitude sickness, or AMS.
Websites addressing the topic of AMS report that visiting elevations below about 2500 m (8000 ft) will rarely cause symptoms. However, individuals can vary greatly in their reaction to even minor changes in altitude, depending on what altitude his or her body is currently acclimated to, sensitivity to his or her environment, and other medical conditions.
The official diagnosis of AMS is made when a headache, with any one or more of the following symptoms is present after a recent ascent above 2500 meters (8000 feet):
|-||Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting|
|-||Fatigue or weakness|
|-||Dizziness or light-headedness|
(* = Denver Metro Area)
|Hot Sulphur Springs||7,680|
|Mesa Verde National Park||6,960|