Asthma and altitude

#1 Jun 26th, 2008, 02:46
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  • Clo is offline
#1
Hello everyone,

I'm planning to spend a while in Ladakh, where 50% of people would get some symptoms of altitude sickness apparently.

I'm asthmatic, and can get very ill very quickly. My doctor is concerned that my oxygen levels would drop too low if I were to have an attack at high altitudes.

I've googled the subject of asthma and altitude a lot, but there is very little information about what would happen in an attack. Most information tends to say that asthmatics would probably be OK (altitude should not actually cause asthma - it will just make things worse if an attack occurs) - but there is very little info on how bad things might get if things aren't OK...

Has anyone had a bad attack at altitudes over 3000m?

I was planning to get to Leh by bus from Delhi to give my body at least some chance of acclimatisation, but I'm wondering if it would actually be safer for me to fly into Leh. Have any asthmatics done the route by bus?

Thanks.
#2 Jun 26th, 2008, 03:11
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  • mazha is offline
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clo View Post Hello everyone,

I'm planning to spend a while in Ladakh, where 50% of people would get some symptoms of altitude sickness apparently.

I'm asthmatic, and can get very ill very quickly. My doctor is concerned that my oxygen levels would drop too low if I were to have an attack at high altitudes.

I've googled the subject of asthma and altitude a lot, but there is very little information about what would happen in an attack. Most information tends to say that asthmatics would probably be OK (altitude should not actually cause asthma - it will just make things worse if an attack occurs) - but there is very little info on how bad things might get if things aren't OK...

Has anyone had a bad attack at altitudes over 3000m?

I was planning to get to Leh by bus from Delhi to give my body at least some chance of acclimatisation, but I'm wondering if it would actually be safer for me to fly into Leh. Have any asthmatics done the route by bus?

Thanks.
Have you ever had altitude sickness? If yes, I would advice against going. I have altitude sickness, and it can be really bad by itself, so asthma would be like double that.

Going by bus doesn't help you acclimatise, you have to spend at least 3-5 days at different altitude levels for the acclimatisation to happen, if at all.
#3 Jun 26th, 2008, 04:47
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  • vistet is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clo View Post
I was planning to get to Leh by bus from Delhi to give my body at least some chance of acclimatisation, but I'm wondering if it would actually be safer for me to fly into Leh. Have any asthmatics done the route by bus?
I was going to say talk with your doc .. but apparently you already have. Its your decision , but youll need to come up with something that you both can agree on , to feel better about the project.

This is what Id bring up :

1. All Manali-Leh runs involves the risk of getting snagged around 5000 meters on the first days , as Ive experienced myself. Just forget about this route.

2. Going from Srinagar involves a lot less risk , I`ve made some suggestions on a softer run here. As #1 says its not the bus run itself which is the positive factor , it essentially boils down to nights at 2000+. You could try find one more intermediate stop - check the altitudes for Pahalgam , Gulmarg.First three (to five) nights are crucial, this where most people change their breathing regulation (from carbon dioxide to oxygen drive , in medicalese ).

3. altitude.org has some nifty calculators that can be useful for calculating oxygen saturation at your destination altitudes.

4. What triggers your asthma ? If you are sensitive to dust ... well, it is a high altitude desert. If you are sensitive to dry air, this will get worse because of the change in breathing pattern : breathing larger breaths means drier air reaching lower parts of the airways. Think thru if you can change your sleeping environment in any way, like hanging up a damp sheet. Ive tried sleeping with a heat/moisture exchanger mask in the winter : appeared like a good idea , but the breathing resistance which wasnt noticeable at home was impossible to deal with un-acclimatized at 4000.

Again : dont let any of this replace talking with your doc , just bring back more information to your next talk.
#4 Jul 30th, 2011, 11:45
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  • chuppandi is offline
#4
Hey Clo..

I am astmatic as well and am planning on a crash trip this august. It'd really help if you could reply with your experiences.... coz whoever i've asked apparently says no problem or either haven't experienced.

Thanks in advance for your help...
#5 Jul 30th, 2011, 14:41
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  • narendra.d is offline
#5
Asthama and crash trip don't go together. Serious;y advice you to take advice from a good doctor, someone who knows about AMS and how asthma affects you.

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