Mount Everest in Nepal

Travel Advice Can You Climb Everest With Asthma?

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Climbing to Everest Base Camp with asthma

It is important to start by saying that everyone that suffers with asthma will have difference triggers, experiences and preventatives. There is no reason, however, why someone with asthma can't climb to Everest Base Camp. Climbing Mount Everest is a different ball game and asthmatics should consult their medical practitioner before embarking on a trip of this magnitude. Saying that, it has been done, so it is achievable, if managed and monitored carefully.

Many people with asthma worry that the high elevation and asthma may potentially make attacks worse or more frequent. This article will explain everything you need to know about how to manage asthma whilst on your Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal.

Everyone’s asthma works in different ways so the effects of combining asthma and altitude will be different from person to person. However, for all cases, it is important to ensure your asthma is under control before starting your trek.

The Everest Base Camp trek goes up to over approximately 5,500m. The air at this altitude is a lot colder and dryer. If cold, dry air is a trigger for your asthma, then we recommend using a neck scarf, like a buff. Another option would be getting a new medication or bronchodilator that will make inhaling the cold, dry air easier.

Due to the extreme temperatures, an aerosol inhaler will freeze, so it is important to keep it in a warm place and in the case of you needing to use it, it is best practice to warm it up between your hands beforehand.

Climbing to Everest Base camp

Asthma might improve at altitude

Various research into hiking with asthma has shown that asthmatics may actually suffer fewer symptoms at higher altitudes. This is because there are lower levels of allergens in the air to act as a trigger for your asthma. If it is only allergens that trigger your asthma, you’ll most likely do better at altitude than at sea level.

Asthma attacks triggered through excessive exercise ares going to be one of the hardest triggers to avoid as you are constantly working your body especially because of the lack of oxygen in the thinner air. Your body will be working much harder than normal. It is important to take your trek slowly, take regular breaks and stay well hydrated. We recommend to be as fit as possible before starting your trek so you do not have to push yourself too hard and exacerbate your asthma.

Overall, asthmatics should not have a problem trekking to the Everest Base Camp, providing a few precautions are taken.

1. You must be fit and healthy,

2. Walk slowly to maintain a steady heart rate

3. Monitor your breathing closely.

It goes without saying you should consult with your doctor before planning any climbing trip with asthma to ensure you're not putting yourself at risk. 
Hikers in the Everest region