Altitude Sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), affects up to 40% of visitors to Breckenridge
Travelling directly from low elevation to Colorado’s high country puts you at increased risk of Altitude Sickness. A rapid ascent to the town of Breckenridge (9.600 ft. above sea level) can quickly bring on the symptoms of Altitude Sickness including:
- Shortness of Breath
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Fatigue & Low Energy
- Rapid Hearth Rate
- Nausea & Vomiting
Symptoms generally occur within the first few days after your arrival to high altitude and can worsen during your stay. Altitude Sickness can equally affect people of all ages, genders, and fitness levels. Just because you’re young and healthy doesn’t mean you won’t suffer from Altitude Sickness. Plus, If you’re skiing hard all day and partying hard all night you’re even more likely to get Altitude Sickness.
Oxygen levels fall as you travel to higher elevations. That’s why you might feel out of breath when you’re in the mountains. Your body has to work much harder at high altitude to get the oxygen it needs.
Altitude Sickness can be mild to severe and can affect any visitor to high altitude, regardless of age, gender or fitness level. Up to ½ of all visitors to Keystone, Colorado will suffer some form of Altitude Sickness. Physical exertion can compound these effects and make you even more likely to suffer from Altitude Sickness.
The faster you ascend up to the mountains the more likely you are to get Altitude Sickness. Traveling directly from sea level to Keystone, Colorado is an ascent of over 9,200 feet in one day and greatly increases your risk factor. Slowly ascending is the only way to give your body the time it needs to acclimate to higher altitude. However, using Oxygen Therapy when you arrive will help ease the acclimation process.
How to lower your risk of Altitude Sickness
- Ascend slowly
- Breathe oxygen upon arrival to high altitude
- Breathe oxygen before and after strenuous activity
- Breathe oxygen while sleeping
- Eat healthy & nutritious food
- Stay well hydrated
- Avoid alcohol and energy drinks
Know the danger signs
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea & vomiting
- Fatigue & low energy
- Insomnia & shallow sleep state
A gradual ascent to high altitude gives your body time to acclimate more smoothly, but few have the time to spend the night at lower elevation before beginning their vacation to the mountains. People often come directly from sea level to Breckenridge in one day, which is an ascent of 9,600 feet. We recommend breathing supplemental oxygen the day you arrive and throughout your stay to help you acclimate more smoothly. Why settle for Colorado’s thin air when you can get just as much oxygen as you do back home with one of our oxygen concentrators?
Other than descending to lower altitude, supplemental oxygen is the most effective way to alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Sleeping at High Altitude
Studies have shown that trouble sleeping is very common at high altitude. The sleep center of the brain is directly affected by low oxygen levels, causing a shallow sleep state, frequent awakenings, and less total sleep time. Sleeping on supplemental oxygen while staying in the mountains can greatly improve your sleep patterns and help you acclimate more smoothly.