Nothing can ruin your trip quite like coming down with a bug. Let’s face it: no one likes getting sick, but it’s even worse when it comes at the wrong times.
Unfortunately, that’s when we seem to get sick the most. The good news is that there are some forms of sickness that you can help prevent against so that you can enjoy a more relaxing vacation. Altitude sickness, for example, is common in those who are traveling to areas with a higher altitude.
If you’re planning on making such a trip, we have good news for you. By following the right plan, you can help reduce or even preclude the occurrence of altitude sickness. This means that you can enjoy your trip the way you intended.
Let’s take a look at the different ways that you can avoid altitude sickness. But first, let’s take a look at what exactly altitude sickness really is.
What Is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness generally occurs when we reach altitudes of over 8,000 feet. Because our bodies haven’t adapted to such a high elevation, we have trouble dealing with the lower oxygen and air pressure levels.
In turn, this leads to what is known as altitude sickness. Unfortunately, there are a variety of other factors that can increase feelings of sickness. You’ll be in a colder area, for example, and you’ll likely be exposed to increased UV radiation.
By understanding what altitude sickness is, you can take the first steps in preventing it. Consider the following methods below as you look to eliminate altitude sickness and better enjoy your next trip. Be sure to keep these in mind if you know you’re going to an area of high elevation.
1. Don’t Rush the Ascent
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not giving their body’s time to adjust. In other words, they ascend rather quickly instead of taking things nice and slow.
This means that if you’re going to be traveling to an area of increased altitude, you’re going to need to make time to plan for it. Making the ascent alone should take a few days of your time, depending on how high it is. You never want to ascend thousands of feet in the air in one go, as your body won’t have time to adjust to the new conditions.
Instead, give yourself time to slowly adjust. Consider going 1,000 new feet a day. If you need to, purchase a meter to measure how far you’re traveling every day. Take an entire day to get used to the increased elevation and book lodging if possible. In this way, your body will gradually acclimate to the new conditions.
2. Stay Hydrated
Another great way to combat altitude sickness is to stay hydrated. If you are dehydrated, you’ll be extra susceptible to feelings of altitude sickness, as your body won’t be able to adjust to the new climate as well.
During this time, it’s best to only drink water and not alcoholic, caffeinated, or sugary beverages.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Make sure that you’re getting the proper amount of rest on your trip. By getting enough sleep, your body will be better rested. This means that it will better ward off the effects of altitude sickness.
If you can manage to gradually increase elevation and sleep every night, you’ll greatly increase your body’s response to preventing altitude sickness.
4. Talk to Your Doctor
If all else fails, talk to your doctor about getting medication for altitude sickness. If you know that you have a history of severe altitude sickness, your doctor may be able to prescribe medications that will help you feel better along the way.
By keeping this and other information in mind, you can enjoy a better trip even at high altitudes.