Which Places Are you Most Likely to Get Altitude Sickness
The most obvious answer to this is, of course, at places which are high in altitude! While we all know that the top of Everest would be classified as precisely that – somewhere pretty high up – for most of us, a trip to the summit of the world’s tallest mountain isn’t exactly likely.
Over 60% of people are likely to suffer from altitude sickness when ascending to the heady heights of over 2,400m if it’s done in a short space of time. The higher you go, the faster you go is likely to induce it more quickly and aggressively too as the body needs time to acclimatise. Some people will experience it at altitudes as low as 2,000m, but this is rarer.
The peaks of all the highest mountains in the world are areas which are likely to induce altitude sickness but if you aren’t an intrepid and extreme mountaineer, where else are you possibly going to get it?
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There are many destinations which sit high enough atop the world to cause symptoms of altitude sickness, and these include many ski resorts. For example, Aspen in Colorado is at 2,438m so you’ll need to beware.
If you’ve ever wanted to make the Inca Trail too and visit Machu Picchu, then this also sits high up at 2,430m above sea level so you’ll need to take your time to get your body used to it.
Bogota, the capital of Colombia, is also an area of concern as is Johannesburg in South Africa, although that is slighter lower.
Parts of the European Alps are so high they can cause sickness too so if you are an adventurous skier, you might need to listen to your body and take your ascent slower. Or avoid going that high up if it doesn’t agree with you but where’s the fun in that!
Don’t worry if you’re a home bird. There’s nowhere in the United Kingdom high enough to induce altitude sickness so you’ll have to travel further afield to be affected!
Why Don’t You Feel It on a PLane
That’s easy – planes are pressurised to mimic the conditions found below 2,400m, so altitude sickness is avoided.
The affects altitude can have on the body are extreme and can be destructive once it turns into sickness. Fortunately, the human body is adept at adapting to its surroundings so you can learn to cope with the thinner air up high and the difficulties we have in getting enough oxygen in that instance. Don’t forget the Sherpas who live high up and cart huge loads up and down the mountains all day every day! They certainly have no ill effects, but if you do, symptoms to look out for including faster breathing, increased heart rate, difficulty sleeping and nausea.
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