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altitude sickness

Beaverton
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170 posts
61 reviews
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altitude sickness

Hello

Planning a trip to the Galapagos and have been advised by our Doctor to take altitude sickness medicine for a couple of layovers in Quito. Is sickness something that happens alot? Didin't know if the medicine would make things worse or better.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
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11,206 posts
101 reviews
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1. Re: altitude sickness

That particular med is not without potentially serious side effects. Most people will experience headache and shortness of breath the first day or so, but if you're only laying over for a few hours I don't see the point of taking the pills. My 60-something sister in coastal CA visited me and had a bit of a headache, but was quite able to tour around with me.

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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2. Re: altitude sickness

I had a slight headache, nothing more, didn't even take anything for it. I wouldn't take the drugs unless you already know you have a tendency to become ill at altitude.

Quito, Ecuador
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248 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: altitude sickness

Most people aren't bothered by the altitude if they follow simple rules:

Take it easy - don't hurry,, stop and rest if you feel yourself becoming at all breathless.

Drink lots of water.

Don't drink alcohol.

If the sun is out, cover your head

You'll possibly have a slight headache - take an aspirin and rest.

Chances are 99 out of 100 that you'll suffer no ill effects, and will enjoy your time in Quito!

Alaska
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25 posts
75 reviews
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4. Re: altitude sickness

The cabin pressure while you are sitting in your seat on the airliner will be approx. 8000 feet, when you arrive in Quito you will be 1500 feet higher..Dont worry about it. Just dont get off the plane and go jogging while smoking a cig.

Otavalo
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146 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: altitude sickness

I definitely agree with previous posters, do not take Diamox, it is a really nasty medicine and is usually prescribed for mountain climbers and people going to 12,000 ft and higher. I recommend Advil. Quito is only about 9,000, and you probably will not see higher while in Ecuador.

Kingston, New York
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8 posts
14 reviews
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6. Re: altitude sickness

I had altitude sickness in Quito.It started during the night and i felt i was suffocating and couldn't breathe.I started to panic and made things worse. the best thing to do is stay calm,take deep breaths and drink a lot of water. It got a bit better during the day. I also had headaches.I have to mention that my husband was with me and he did not feel sick,so not everybody gets altitude sickness.

Alaska
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25 posts
75 reviews
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7. Re: altitude sickness

As I said in a previous post...The whole trip you are flying you are breathing the same amount of air that is outside at 8000 feet..When you land you are 1000 feet higher than when you were when watching the movie and having a cocktail, or sleeping soundly. Think you just talked yourself into having a panic attack. Unless you are terribly unhealthy, 9000 feet would not affect anyone.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
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11,206 posts
101 reviews
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8. Re: altitude sickness

It's impossible to predict who will be affected by the altitude. A thousand feet difference is actually quite a lot for some people. Age and fitness level have nothing to do with it. It's unfair to assume someone "talked" herself into panicking; anyone would panic if they couldn't breathe--that's a normal reaction.

Alaska
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25 posts
75 reviews
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9. Re: altitude sickness

Thank you Doctor who? After 30 years as a commercial pilot, I would say that maybe I have a bit more experience than most passengers, but, Doctor...This is not supposed to be the normal beat them up post. When you have spent as much time in altitude chambers, and at altitude, when all pressure is lost. Than maybe you will be the next authority...Until than, keep it to yourself. Panic attacks are attacks that people talk them selves into, medical fact. Tightness in the chest, high pulse rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating etc., not health related at all. In the head...The more you think about it, the worse it becomes. But believe it or not, just when you think your going to pass out from it, your body returns to normal and everything slows down, and you wonder what happened. No one dies from panic attacks. You are beginning to remind me of my boss in Dubai. Knew all about aviation, aircraft, sea-planes and starting an aviation business in the UAE. But in reality, that is why there are over 100,000 americans and 10,000 brits there in Arab Businesses, in the UAE. They all think they know, but when it comes down to it...We better hire someone from the US. Makes us feel bad, but we have no other choice..We cant do it.

Kingston, New York
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8 posts
14 reviews
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10. Re: altitude sickness

These posts are about helping people therefore I was letting other people know that indeed altitude sickness is real and YES you panic.This is my own personal experience and I don't know about anybody else(except husband who was not sick).