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Doctor insights on: How To Prevent High Altitude Sickness

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High Altitude (Definition)

As one ascends through the atmosphere, every breath contains fewer molecules of oxygen. One must work harder to obtain oxygen, by breathing faster and deeper. The % of oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level is 21%. As altitude increases, the % remains the same but the number of oxygen molecules per breath is reduced. At 12, 000 feet 40% fewer oxygen molecules per breath. Your ...Read more


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What are some ways to prevent (mountain) altitude sickness?

What are some ways to prevent (mountain) altitude sickness?

Be Cautious: Climb slowly: let your body acclimate climb high, sleep low—sleeping at lower altitude then you have spent the day hiking lets body adjust hydrate if ill with headache, nausea, irritable, feeling hung over—go back down. Altitude can be fatal. Consider Diamox (acetazolamide) to prevent altitude sickness—talk to travel/ wilderness provider. It does not make you bullet proof ; still respect signs of sickness. ...Read more

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How can high altitudes affect breathing, and how long does it take to acclimate to higher altitudes?

How can high altitudes affect breathing, and how long does it take to acclimate to higher altitudes?

Low oxygen: It can cause swelling in the lungs because of too little oxygen. Ideally, it takes a couple of weeks for acclimation. ...Read more

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How do you treat altitude sickness?

How do you treat altitude sickness?

Depends on degree: This depends on the degree of illness. But I do agree with my colleague that descent -- safely -- is the first thing to do. Additional needs might be oxygen, hydration, the diuretic diamox (acetazolamide). If the person is confused, short of breath, and not moving well, this is severe and you're going to need help getting him/her down the mountain. Better to watch for early signs than let it get this far. ...Read more

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How can you prevent high blood pressure?

How can you prevent high blood pressure?

Get Family History!: Holiday family gatherings are excellent times to ask family members about their health histories. Learning about what symptoms, conditions, treatments they had can be helpful. It is also important to find out how their siblings prevented getting a condition like hypertension. Did they eat right stay slim, exercise, avoid tobacco, manage stress? Those are things people can do to try to prevent it. ...Read more

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How can I prevent motion sickness?

How can I prevent motion sickness?

Some approaches: Ginger root, 1000 mg capsules, dramamine, (dimenhydrinate) scopolamine ear patches, meclizine, wrist bands, vestibular exercises to accommadate. ...Read more

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How can you prevent high blood pressure in the future?

How can you prevent high blood pressure in the future?

Blood Pressure: Stop: Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising regularly, decreasing sodium (salt) intake, avoiding alcohol and excessive stimulants such as caffeine, getting enough sleep, treating sleep apnea if present all help. However, blood pressure tends to rise gradually with age, so be prepared to take some medicines in needed to prevent stroke, heart attack, heart or kidney failure, etc. ...Read more

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How to prevent carsickness?

How to prevent carsickness?

Scopolamine. : Ask your doctor for a scopolamine patch, this is placed behind your ear before you travel. It will help but can give you a dry mouth. ...Read more

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How can I prevent motion sickness

How can I prevent motion sickness

Couple of tricks: Some take otc dramamine (dimenhydrinate) or Meclizine prior to getting onto a boat. There is a bracelet with a bead to be worn if you might suffer motion sickness, and is said to be useful in some. The old fashioned scopolamine patch behind the ear may work. A lot of migraine pts have motion sickness, and anti-migraine meds may be useful. ...Read more

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How quickly can your hemoglobin rise in high altitude?

How quickly can your hemoglobin rise in high altitude?

Hemoglobin at altitu: Weeks to months depending on the altitude. The immediate response to altitudes over 10, 000 feet is an increase in the depth and rate of breathing to help maintain the level of oxygen in the blood. As the length of exposure persists, the kidneys will start producing a hormone to increase the rate of production of red blood cells to pick up and carry more of the available oxygen at that altitude. ...Read more

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How can one prevent seasickness?

How can one prevent seasickness?

Alternative options: Dr tosca gave an excellent response. Here are alternative options: acupressure, sea-bands and ginger or peppermint tea. ...Read more

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How does the body acclimate itself to high altitude?

How does the body acclimate itself to high altitude?

Many changes: 1. You breath faster to compensate for the thinned density of oxygen. 2 body makes more oxygen carrying red cells at altitude 3. Kidneys put out more bicarbonate (sodium bicarbonate) to keep your acid base state adjusted. Your rapid breathing blows off carbon dioxide and your kidneys adjust for this change but it takes a few days to body to alter. There are medicines to speed this acclimatization. ...Read more

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How to prevent high blood pressure in the future? I am 40.

How to prevent high blood pressure in the future? I am 40.

Program: Need an organized program of weight loss, exercise, diet, and care by your doctor. Despite all your best efforts you may still need a medication to keep your blood pressure normal. ...Read more

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How can I avoid travel sickness?

Get travel health: info well in advance of your trip. See: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list ...Read more

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Can you advise me on going to high altitudes after scuba diving?

Can you advise me on going to high altitudes after scuba diving?

Scuba: For commercial flights FAA recommends at least 24-48 hours between routine SCUBA and flying. If you suffered decompression sickness (DCS) after diving you should consult a military flight surgeon, FAA Aerospace Medical Examiner (AME) or hyperbaric medicine specialist for clearance before you fly. ...Read more

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What can I do to prevent low blood pressure?

What can I do to prevent low blood pressure?

Blood pressure: You can increase the fluids and salt in your diet, wear support hose and pay attention when you are standing up to do it slowly. ...Read more

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How can I prevent high blood sugar emergencies?

How can I prevent high blood sugar emergencies?

Adherence : Test your blood sugars and take your medication as directed. If you have unusually high blood sugars, call your doctor before it becomes a crisis. If you have type 1 diabetes, call your doctor if you also have urine ketones. ...Read more

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Can you tell me if there are good exercises to reduce the risk of altitude sickness?

Can you tell me if there are good exercises to reduce the risk of altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness: The risk of altitude sickness typically increases with the rate of ascension and elevation height. That is, the higher and faster one climbs, the worse the altitude sickness can become. The best exercise is altitude acclimatization and training in sequentially higher altitudes. Adequate hydration, avoidance of strenuous exercises, and certain meds can also help. Good luck and happy climbing! ...Read more

Dr. Benjamin Constance
86 doctors shared insights

Altitude Illness (Definition)

A condition that occurs when you can't get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes, which can cause dizziness, headaches, ...Read more