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Suggestions for Altitude Sickness

Baytown, Texas
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8 posts
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Suggestions for Altitude Sickness

Someone suggested "Ear Planes" to avoid altitude sickness. You can buy at any Walgreens or Walmart and you place them in your ears. Also used for motion sickness when traveling on air planes. I prefer something like this if it truly works vs medications. We're coming up to RMNP in June 2013 and live in Houston, TX area. So there will be a BIG change for us altitude wise. Would like to get different views on what to do to help prevent. I also know hydrating well days before helps too. Any suggestions will be welcomed! THANKS!

Nederland, Colorado
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1. Re: Suggestions for Altitude Sickness

Most people have no issues. Many folks who think they have "altitude sickness" are suffering from dehydration.

Go to the top right of the main page under Top questions about Colorado and click on "What about the altitude/Altitude sickness"?

Destination Expert
for Colorado
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2. Re: Suggestions for Altitude Sickness

Ditto what Babalax said.

I like natural remedies, too, but I have a hard time thinking that a product like this would help with altitude sickness, since it has to do with how your body reacts to the lower concentration of oxygen. Lower atmospheric pressure means your body takes in less oxygen with each breath than it is used to. That's why even people in great shape will breathe heavily or feel winded for a few days, and that slight shortness of breath is not altitude sickness. Maybe something like this product (or the accupressure wrist bands) would help with nausea if that happens to be one of the symptoms you get, if you do indeed suffer some symptoms. I've read that motion sickness on airplanes may be a mild form of altitude sickness since airline cabins are pressurized to the equivalent of 8000', or so I'm told. I've read that it can also be dehydration.

My favorite resource for altitude sickness information is the Institute for Altitude Medicine at Telluride. Their website has lots of great information on what altitude sickness is, possible causes, what the symptoms are, etc. Many people have no ill effects; others may have a mild headache or nausea; some will feel very ill for a day or two; a very few will need medical treatment. IAM says that slow ascent to altitude is the best preventative, and returning to a lower altitude is the easiest cure. Staying at least one night at an intermediate altitude is highly recommended, so if you are flying in to Denver, one night in Denver, Golden, Boulder, Colorado Springs, or a similar altitude would be suggested. However, Estes Park is below 8,000 feet, which is the altitude equivalent they use to pressurize airline cabins, or so I'm told. Altitude sickness can occur at that elevation but it is more common above 8000 feet. So, for most people, Estes Park is okay, but take it easy for the first couple of days and don't plan on hiking up a mountain your first day or two, and try to plan driving Trail Ridge Road after you've been there a couple of days. Light exercise is better than napping, and avoiding alcohol for a few days is a must. IAM says that some studies show gingko biloba is an effective preventative for some people.


Here's another good article: estesparkinformation.com/altitude-sickness/

Temple, Texas
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3. Re: Suggestions for Altitude Sickness

I have been to Colorado numerous times and had my first problem last summer. I stayed at Loveland for the first night and after that in Estes for a week. My symptoms were low appetite and trouble sleeping. Never had a headache. Huffing and puffing on all my hikes. So help me the 90 year old grandmas were making it up the hiking trail faster than me. On the first day or two I could really tell the difference coming down from the Bear Lake parking lot at 9000 or so to Estes. Although I think I was hydrating, after doing some research for this summer's trip to Breckenridge, I have decided to hydrate even more beginning before I fly out of Austin. This year I will stay my first day in Colorado Springs before going to Breck the next day.

Also googled ibuprofen and altitude sickness and decided to try that.

I had a wonderful week in RMNP and when I got home I calculated that I had hiked about 35 miles in the Park. So with me at least it wasn't really very bad.

Hot Sulphur...
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4. Re: Suggestions for Altitude Sickness

My friends have found success simply by drinking more water than usual for several days before arriving at altitude. Also, loading up on Carbs prior to traveling helps.

Once you are here, continue with the water, watch your alcohol consumption, and take it easy the first few days.

Safe travels!

5. Re: Suggestions for Altitude Sickness

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