Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Mountains

07/16/2009

Question:

I am going to new mexico next week.I have copd what trouble will this be.the altitude will cause me problems.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness and for your question. When COPD patients ascend to high altitudes, they often report increased symptoms of shortness of breath. Minor exertion at high altitudes for people with COPD may cause earlier symptoms of shortness of breath than it would at lower altitudes. Generally, symptoms could be managed with stopping the activity and use of bronchodilators. However, some people with COPD who do not require oxygen therapy at lower altitudes may require oxygen at higher altitudes. A pulmonologist can help make the determination of the need for oxygen by either assessing oxygen levels with exertion to see if there is a drop in oxygen with walking, or by doing an altitude test. An altitude test simulates the decreased oxygen at altitude and could help in determining whether you need oxygen for air travel or at a higher altitude.

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Michael E Ezzie, MD Michael E Ezzie, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University