When travelers contemplate the worst things that can affect them when they travel, one of the most often listed complaints is in regards to illness. From jet lag to food borne illnesses or even exposure related illness can all be dealt with and even avoided if you know what to do and how to be prepared.
One less commonly discussed illness is in relation to heights. The lowest point in the United States is of course Death Valley a full 282 feet below sea level with the highest point being over 20,000 feet, Mount McKinley, Alaska. Although you can see the lows and highs are quite vast, on average, most Americans live between 500 and 2000 feet above sea level For those who have never experienced what being above 4,000 feet is like you may not even recognize if you are being affected by it.
Known as altitude sickness, it can affect anyone no matter what age, or it may not affect you at all. Places such as Santa Fe, El Paso, Denver and even Laramie may find you wondering what is going on. What is really happening is that your body is having a hard time reacting to changes in Oxygen levels and air pressure as you go higher into the atmosphere. For an extreme example, people who climb Mount Everest generally require Oxygen masks to avoid passing out. Though not nearly so serious at lower levels, you can still feel and be impacted in many areas throughout the United States.
Common symptoms of altitude sickness include headaches and shortness of breath. More serious issues may develop at higher elevations and include fluid on the lungs. To avoid being as affected by the symptoms of altitude sickness, try not to push yourself, drink plenty of fluids and let your body adjust gradually.
In general, only a minority of travelers will be impacted by altitude sickness and only once they are ab over 8,000 feet and sleep there however, it is best to be cautious. Men are usually impacted more than women, but it is important for you to be aware of how your body is coping with these or other conditions when you travel to ensure that you are taking care of yourself. Stay safe by paying attention to your body and get assistance if you need it.
Tradewinds Vacations invites you to learn more about travel and issues that may afferent you before you travel. Be an informed traveler and know before you go.