How Altitude Affects Asthma Patients

Some of the reasons that very-high altitudes may affect asthmatics include the fact that the air is dry, temperatures are often very cold causing inhalers to freeze in addition to affecting the lungs and airways of the patient, and the air pressure is different.

An asthma patient has particularly sensitive air passages, or airways, resulting in difficult breathing for the patient when these air passages are irritated from an atmospheric change.  For this reason, it makes sense that often asthma patients are affected by altitude related sicknesses.

Many people participate in mountain-climbing for enjoyment, which lands them at a position of very high altitude upon a successful climb. Asthmatics need to be careful to pay attention to signs of danger or oncoming attacks. They need to ensure that they are carrying with them at all times, the medications necessary to stop or reduce the effects of an attack or onset of symptoms.

For those living in areas with high-altitude, asthmatics who have adjusted over time to the new conditions will find that their asthma severity and frequency of attacks and other symptoms may decrease.

This is specifically true for those patients with household allergy triggered attacks.  This is because there is a reduction in the presence of dust and dust mites in higher altitudes.

Plane travel is not a problem for most asthmatics, however patients with moderate to severe asthma are recommended to see their physician for advice prior to traveling by air. Often, additional or different temporary medications can be administered or available to the patient should problems arise while the plane is in the air.

Obviously, when traveling for an extended period of time, an asthmatic should guarantee that they have sufficient supplies of all necessary medications and even access to a pharmacy or mail order service where medications can be obtained in an emergency.

Asthma Guide


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