Whether you want to climb to the top of Japan's Mt. Takao, or go hiking high in the Rocky Mountains, you will need to check oxygen concentrator specifications so you can safely reach these heights. Climbing quickly to high altitudes can be dangerous for anyone. Altitude sickness, also known as "Acute Mountain Sickness" or AMS, can happen to anyone because of the lack of oxygen in the air at high altitudes.
High Altitude Oxygen
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is still somewhat of a mystery to medical experts, but what they do know undeniably, is that it is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. If you are planning a trip to a ski resort high in the mountains, or any other location that has an altitude about 6,000 feet above sea level, AMS can be a threat.
There are a few different ways to prevent AMS is the first place, and everyone is different in how going to a high altitude affects them. One person might get it mildly while another gets violently ill. It can be especially dangerous to those with a chronic lung disease.
Using a home oxygen concentrator might be the best way to prevent mountain sickness since it allows more oxygen to get into the blood stream. You might want to talk to your doctor about doing this, well before your trip to the mountains.
The higher you travel above sea level, the thinner the air gets, and this can become a big problem for some people. If you want to do some high altitude hiking with your friends, there are some precautions you will need to take, especially if you have a lung or heart condition.
Those with COPD, asthma, congestive heart failure and other heart problems would definitely benefit from the use of portable oxygen therapy, if you are going up into high altitudes. Also, if you are not used to being in higher altitudes, and you travel higher too quickly, you can suffer from the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Mild altitude sickness is very common in people who have a healthy heart and lungs. Even experts cannot always predict who will get it and who won't, but if you have a condition that prevents you from getting enough oxygen into your bloodstream, even at sea level, you will definitely have a hard time.
If you live up in the mountains, you know that the air is much thinner than it is closer to sea level. You might be used to it, but there is still less oxygen available to breathe in. That also means less oxygen that an oxygen concentrator has to work with. Oxygen concentrators must be strong enough to operate at higher elevations, so you would need one that has a higher maximum operational elevation.
You might also want to go hiking or take a trip up into the mountains, but maybe your lung capacity isn't as strong as it used to be. You should first get the advice of your doctor before you do anything strenuous is you have health issues, but an oxygen concentrator might be the best way to stay healthy.
Even those who don't have COPD or other chronic lung diseases, can have a hard time in high altitudes. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can happen when you aren't used to a high altitude and you ascend too quickly for your body to adjust properly. AMS symptoms are difficulty sleeping, fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting, unusual shortness of breath and a rapid pulse.
It's usually caught and treated in the mild stage, but severe AMS symptoms include chest tightness or congestion, a bluish tint to the skin, cough, confusion, inability to walk a straight line and coughing up blood. Needless to say, it can become life threatening if left untreated properly by medical personnel.
High altitudes can be serious business, as they can severely effect people with otherwise healthy lungs. If you're using an oxygen concentrator, this can give you a good buffer for dealing with the thinner air of higher altitudes. If you're talking about traveling up into the mountains, however, you will need to take some precautions.
Colorado is a beautiful state and is known for its breathtaking mountain scenery and great skiing getaways. If you've ever thought about visiting one of Colorado's mountain towns, such as Aspen, Copper Mountain, Vail, Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge, you can look forward to some great adventures in one of the most picturesque places in the country. If you need to use oxygen therapy while you're here, you will be well taken care of with American Medical's convenient oxygen concentrator rentals and services.
Many people who have visited Colorado from other places might notice one thing about the place, even if it's not as apparent as its beauty. With an altitude as high as it is over most of the state, you can be effected by such a difference in altitude, if you're from a place that is closer to sea level. Even at an altitude of 9,602, such as Breckenridge, you can be physically effected by the change if you're used to living in a place like Ohio if you are otherwise completely healthy. If you have a chronic lung condition like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), this can end up being a bigger problem.
The higher you go above sea level, the thinner the air gets and less oxygen is available for you to breathe. Mountain climbers know this, and will take oxygen equipment with them when they are climbing to altitudes near 10,000 feet, which is where the lack of oxygen starts to get dangerous. When we aren't getting enough oxygen, especially when our bodies are being pushed to the limit (like during mountain or rock climbing), we can become very ill.
Fish need a certain amount of oxygen in the water to breathe. In a fish tank, they depend on the air pump to bring in the oxygen, since they are living in a small space and not the open water. If the air pump breaks, the amount of oxygen in the tank depletes quickly, and the fish will become sick and die. When you are climbing higher and higher up a mountain, the level of oxygen around you is decreasing, and you are like the fish losing oxygen. Unless you do something to make up for that lack of this life-giving gas, you could be in trouble.
A Patients Perspective of the Respironics SimplyGo portable oxygen concentrator at 5500 feet. by Roxlyn G. Cole
Having tested the new Respironics POC 'SimplyGo'(remember I live, at around 5500 ft altitude)...for hours while riding in a car as a passenger, to a Better breathers, to two funerals, ... and a couple of times really slowly on the treadmill, (did I mention the cart is a dream come true),today I put it to a really long walk on the Treadmill, I walked 2.6 miles, tested it for 95 minutes- moving up to faster pace, while switching around using different pulse values and also with 3 different oxygen delivery systems...very interesting.
The TTO ( Transtracheal oxygen system direct into my neck) consistently oxygenated close to 1% above other oxygen delivery systems.
The Oxyview glasses slightly lower than TTO, +/- 1%, then with the Salter (regular) cannula sats were trailing behind a full one to two percent lower than TTO... you might say they work: >good-cannula >better-Oxyview >best -TTO.
A Patients Perspective of the Inogen One G2 portable oxygen concentrator at 5500 feet. by Roxlyn G. Cole
I tested out the first Inogen One, a few years ago, and I wasn’t too impressed with it, but this one is- WOW! Outstanding!
They really refined and improved every single aspect of the Inogen design/shape/oxygen delivery, carry bag, cart, and even designed a superb backpack carrier for those who have kept exercising with small weights and can carry 12-14 lbs.
Centered on ones back makes for an easier carry than on one shoulder – in my opinion. ALL of the many changes made for a top of the line quality and design product. AND, MOST important, it seems to do much better than the first one, at keeping me oxygenated even here above a mile high.