Altitude sickness affects millions of people each year and can turn a dream vacation into a sickness nightmare. So, if this is your first trip thousands of miles above sea level, you may want to keep some things in mind.
Many people tend to overlook altitude sickness as a reason for their ailments because the symptoms are similar to those of flu or the common cold.
The low oxygen levels in the higher altitudes force your body to work harder to maintain the level of oxygen it needs.
Headaches, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea and insomnia are symtpoms to watch out for when you first arrive at your mountain destination. However, you can avoid these feelings by taking a few simple precautions before you hit the slopes.
1. Don’t try to conquer the master runs on your first day
Reducing your activities by half on your first day will allow your body to adjust to the new altitude.
2. Drink more liquids than usual
Mountain air doesn’t contain as much moisture as air at sea level.Therefore, you can lose moisture when you breath. So, drink enough extra water and juices so that you urine stays clear. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol as they can dehydrate your body. Infact, alcohol can affect your coordination at higher altitudes.
3.Don’t get too hungry
Ensure you get enough calories. A well nourished body adjusts to changes better than a hungry one.
4. Don’t smoke
Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen getting into your body and could harm you more the higher above sea level you go.
If you start feeling sick, go and see your doctor. And, if you can’t get to a doctor, descend as low as possible to see if the symptoms go away. continue to drink lots of fluids and get lots of rest. If you don’t feel better in a couple of days, especially if you’re vomiting, constantly coughing or feeling confused, dizzy and short of breath, get medical care quickly. You could get fluid build up in your brain or lungs if you don’t get help.