Common Signs and Symptoms Include:
Altitude Sickness in Crested Butte and How it Affects You:
Your body responds in several ways to an increase in altitude – typically within 6 hours of arrival:
- You develop a headache, which is as a result of mild swelling of the brain, caused by the reduced oxygen levels.
- Your Heart rate increases. The heart is working harder to pump oxygen-carrying blood to the rest of the body.
- Your kidneys flush more fluids out of the body. This diuretic effect helps the blood to thicken slightly and carry more red blood cells, which carry more oxygen. This is why everybody urinates more at higher elevations.
- Your breathing will accelerate. Your lungs are trying to catch up!
Everyone who comes from a low elevation to high altitude will experience these physiological changes. However, if you ascend in elevation too quickly, the body can get overloaded, and you can feel very sick. Altitude sickness feels like a bad hangover or a case of the flu without the sore throat or cough. If you are not sure what is making you feel bad it’s most likely altitude sickness.
Extreme cases of altitude sickness can cause fluid buildup in either the brain as High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) —or in the lungs as: High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). HACE and HAPE are very dangerous conditions, and can be fatal. If anyone in your party has difficulty keeping their balance, is staggering, has a cough and has decreased exercise ability – Seek emergency medical attention immediately.
The best remedy for the effects of high altitude is to descend, since that is usually not an option while you are vacationing, supplemental oxygen from a 10 liter Oxygen Concentrator provided by Alpine Oxygen – Crested Butte Oxygen Rentals is the next best remedy to help you to relax so you can sleep, relieve headaches, nausea and improve appetites without any side effects.
Sleeping with Oxygen
If symptoms are mild, a nasal cannula is suitable and more comfortable to sleep with than a Non Rebreather (NRB) mask. Another advantage of a cannula is that two people can use the 10 liter oxygen concentrator at the same time with the provided Y splitter.
If symptoms are more moderate we recommend using the NRB mask which will provide the maximum amount of Oxygen, however, it can only be administered to one person when using the mask.
All of our Crested Butte Oxygen rentals come with nasal cannulas, a NRB mask, bubble humidifiers, Y splitter, and extension tubing.