[pct-l] Asthma and Altitude

Austin Williams austinwilliams123 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 19 10:22:01 CST 2011

I've had asthma my whole life.  I had medicine with me on the trail, but I
never had to use it.  It was one of the only times my entire life when I
went that long, with that much physical activity without having difficulty
breathing.  Kind of amazing.

Not saying the same will happen to you, just wanted to share.

But I am not aware of any concerns with asthma and altitude.  (Athsma and
DEPTH under water are of HUGE concern that we have to worry about when scuba
diving or riding in submarines.... but that's an entirely different
question).  I'd keep your usual PRN meds with you and (if yours is ever
triggered by allergies) some anti-allergy meds are a good idea.

I never had to use either, but it's important to be responsible and have
them with you.  :)

I basically jogged up Mt. Whitney and didn't notice a change in my ability
to breathe.  I don't know if we are more susceptible to high altitude
sickness like HACE than others, but that's not something we need to worry
about as long as we're in the lower 48 states (we just don't have severe
altitudes in this part of the world).

That being said, climbing to high altitudes is physically demanding... so if
your asthma is brought on by strenuous physical activity then naturally you
may experience difficulty breathing.  But it shouldn't be any different than
if you sprinted around the block at home.

FYI, I'm not doctor... just a life-long asthmatic.

Happy trails!

-Austin Williams

On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 10:20 PM, Alphabetsoup <alphabetsoupmmm at gmail.com>wrote:

> I have a question regarding altitude and Asthma-
> Are there ANY concerns I should be aware of?
> So far, I have no troubles with asthma attacks when hiking, usually the air
> is clean up in the mountains. Asthma is only a year or so new to me, so I
> have no idea what to expect beyond avoiding triggers.
> Anyone have any insight into this arena?
> Paul A.
> --
> *Alphabetsoup*
> *~Soon to be PCT Thru-Hiker April 2011~*
> * www.postholer.com/alphabetsoup*
> *
> *
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Austin Williams

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