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Old 01-13-2013, 12:58 PM
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Default Altitude Sickness

Has anyone suffered from altitude sickness before?

There's a good chance we'll be going from sea level (now) to 11,000 feet (destination) over the course of a plane ride.

I'm not stopping any place else to get acclimated.

The highest up I've ever been is sea level to 6,500 feet elevation.

I have asthma, and I've researched that it shouldn't cause much of an issue.

I also plan on getting acetazolamide prescribed by my doctor- it's a medicine that combats altitude sickness. Locally, coca leaf tea is consumed to help with it as well.

So... has anyone from here suffered from it? Do you have any hints on how to make things easier?

Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:12 PM
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Its more or less unrelated to asthma. Your lungs will hurt I'm sure. Try not to run a marathon while you're there.

Where the heck are you going to see 11,000 feet? If thats a ski resort summit, you won't spend much time, the town of Aspen for example is less than 9000. Unless you sleep at the summit, you'll have fewer problems.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:16 PM
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See, I'm afraid of my lungs hurting. It's a trip I've wanted to go on since I was a little kid, and I really, really want to be able to do it. I'm just hoping that I can do everything possible to keep from getting altitude sickness.

Cuzco, Peru- it's 11,500 feet.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:25 PM
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I was afraid of Peru

If I went there tomorrow, my lungs would hurt. Its about as high as you can drive or fly.

Everything seems to say the asthma and altitude sickness is unrelated. Its more of a bad lottery than related to your preexisting medical condition. Bad side of that, you can be susceptible anyway :P
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:21 PM
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I got it, mildly, when I went to Denver.

Oddly, drinking TONS of water seemed to help. I'm not sure why. Stay REALLY hydrated.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
I got it, mildly, when I went to Denver.

Oddly, drinking TONS of water seemed to help. I'm not sure why. Stay REALLY hydrated.
That scares me, since I'll be twice as high up as Denver!

I'll actually be going from sea level to 8,500 feet. Then the next day/night will be spent at 11,000 feet. After that will be 8,000 feet until the 2nd to last day, which will be at 11,000 feet again.

This is one of those trips that we really have a limited number of years to do... so I think this year is a perfect time to do it. I can drag my kid to Iceland or Alaska, but Peru is just going to be difficult enough with the two of us.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:21 AM
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Just don't do a whole lot of physical activity the first few days for sure and you should be fine. Because the air is thinner at the higher elevations, you will feel out of breath, and asthma does make that a little more... weird?

I'm just speaking out of experience from moving from MI to CO.. Neither DH nor myself got altitude sickness, but Harlow did! Hopefully that helps a little.

ETA: Like MM said, water helps a ton!
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:36 AM
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I've never gotten altitude sickness (probably because I've lived at 8,000 feet for half my life) but I'm pretty sure hydration is key. I have driven/hiked above tree line (going from 8,000 to over 12,000 in one day) many many times and while the air up there is MUCH thinner I never had it trigger my asthma. I have sports induced though so it will probably be different for you.

I would just hydrate like crazy, take back up drugs (headache and anti nausea) in case water doesn't work, and take it easy once you get up there.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meepitsmeagan View Post
Just don't do a whole lot of physical activity the first few days for sure and you should be fine. Because the air is thinner at the higher elevations, you will feel out of breath, and asthma does make that a little more... weird?

I'm just speaking out of experience from moving from MI to CO.. Neither DH nor myself got altitude sickness, but Harlow did! Hopefully that helps a little.

ETA: Like MM said, water helps a ton!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taqroy View Post
I've never gotten altitude sickness (probably because I've lived at 8,000 feet for half my life) but I'm pretty sure hydration is key. I have driven/hiked above tree line (going from 8,000 to over 12,000 in one day) many many times and while the air up there is MUCH thinner I never had it trigger my asthma. I have sports induced though so it will probably be different for you.

I would just hydrate like crazy, take back up drugs (headache and anti nausea) in case water doesn't work, and take it easy once you get up there.
Thanks- I feel a little more relieved!

We're going to be taking it easy for most of the trip- nothing to intense the whole time, anyway. We're not hiking the Inca Trail or anything like that. Most of what we want to see is going to be done leisurely. We're going to spend an entire day at Machu Picchu, but that won't be until after we've been there 4 or so days.

The hotels have oxygen if it's needed, and from my research, it seems like it doesn't affect asthma any more or any less than anything else. I'm going to force myself to drink a TON of liquids, and we won't be in a super high altitude for too long at least. I guess anything over 8,000 IS a super high altitude for me, since I live at sea level now

I'm just scared that I'm going to be one of those super unlucky people who suffer from it... but this is a once in a lifetime trip and it's going to just get harder once we have kids.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:00 PM
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Apparently I've been at 9,000 feet and didn't even realize it. One of the volcanoes in Costa Rica (Poas) was 9,000 feet up- and we even did a few miles of a hike there.

Makes me a LOT less worried now!
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