If you’re visiting Colorado for the first time, you likely thought to plan ahead for some extra sun exposure and lots of time spent outdoors. But you may not have realized that you would also be at risk for another relatively common condition, common for those not as accustom to the altitude of Colorado that is. If you have sudden or unusual fatigue, headaches, dizziness, weakness, and/or nausea, you might have altitude sickness.
Just so you know, Colorado Springs is 6,000+ feet altitude. The Air Force Academy is 7,200+ feet altitude. Pikes Peak is 14,000+ feet altitude. Compare that to the altitude you’re coming from.
Altitude sickness (according to WebMD) is a common condition that individuals experience when hiking or vacationing in Colorado. Effective treatment is important to avoid complications. Anywhere UrgentCare™ provides you fast, convenient at-home treatment for altitude sickness so you can get back to enjoying Colorado.
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What Is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness occurs when you are in a location where your body cannot get enough oxygen from the air, in other words, at high altitudes. The condition is most prevalent in individuals who are not used to higher altitudes who quickly move from lower altitudes to one of 8,000 feet or more. For example, you may have experienced mild symptoms of the condition if you have ever gotten a headache while driving over a high mountain pass or hiked to a high altitude.
Mild altitude sickness is common, and experts have not yet found a way to determine who will or will not get it. Likewise, neither your fitness level nor physiological makeup seem to play in bearing in your susceptibility to the condition.
What Causes Altitude Sickness?
The air available is actually ‘thinner’ at higher altitudes. So if you increase your elevation too quickly, your body is unaccustomed and cannot get the amount of oxygen it needs to thrive. In this case, you automatically begin breathing faster, which causes a headache and other symptoms of altitude sickness. As your body becomes acclimated to the altitude, however, your symptoms will go away.
What Are Symptoms of Altitude Sickness?
The primary symptoms of altitude sickness include:
- throbbing headache that worsens during the night and upon waking
- lack of appetite or desire to eat
- mild to severe nausea and periodically, vomiting
- general weakness and tiredness. In more severe cases, you will not have the energy to do daily activities, including eating and dressing
- poor sleep
- general feeling of dizziness
Symptoms may vary from mild to severe and often do not begin until a day after you have been at a high altitude. Some individuals describe altitude sickness as feeling hungover.
You may also develop more severe symptoms if the condition affects your lungs and brain. If this occurs, you may feel confused, unable to walk straight, become faint, or have blue or gray fingernails or lips. In very severe cases, you may hear a sound like that of a paper bag being crumpled when you breathe. This is an indication that the condition has progressed and could even be fatal if left untreated.
How Can Altitude Sickness Be Treated?
Treatment is typically simple, especially if the condition has not progressed. However, it is important to seek medical attention to determine your need for more advanced care. If you suspect you have altitude sickness, don’t waste your time or money going to Urgent Care or the ER. Anywhere UrgentCare™ will come right to you.
In many cases, treatment includes rest and hydration. If dehydration is a concern, IV fluids may be necessary. Anywhere UrgentCare™ will dispatch a nurse practitioner to you who can evaluate and treat your illness the same as a medical doctor. The care provider will also administer IV fluids as needed to restore your vital nutrients and hydration level and can do so right in the comfort of your home or lodge.
Don’t let an issue like altitude sickness ruin your vacation. With Anywhere UrgentCare™, you can get the care you need on your time so you can get back to enjoying all that Colorado has to offer.
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Contact Anywhere UrgentCare™ for at-home altitude sickness treatment brought to your doorstep. We do house calls to save you time and money. Simply schedule an appointment for a time and place that works best for you: