Altitude sickness can affect people when they travel quickly from lower altitudes to 8,000 feet or higher (Breckenridge is at 9,600 feet). If you're experiencing a headache, nausea, sleeplessness, loss of appetite or fatigue, you may have altitude sickness.
Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes and can range from mild to serious. There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility. Seek medical attention immediately if you start to experience any symptoms.
A few tips to help prevent altitude sickness:
- Stay properly hydrated. Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day).
- Take it easy. Don't over-exert yourself when you first arrive. Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including barbiturates, tranquilizers and sleeping pills. These depressants further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of symptoms.
- Eat a high carbohydrate diet (more than 70% of your calories) while at altitude.