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Help with Mountain nausea

aloha.hau

Diva in Training
My kids have told me that when they go up to ski (we live at sea level) they are at least a little bit nauseous for the first few days. This manifests as them having to be dragged out to the slopes in the morning and not wanting to do anything except devices when off the slopes. During the actual skiing they seem to be fine. It is very demotivating.

Do anyone have suggestions to help this?
 

Christy

Angel Diva
It this from altitude do you think (are you skiing or staying over 8000 feet?), or is it from the motion?

My husband gets nauseous and dizziness at the start of each season from the motion and all the white. "Less drowsy" dramamine helps. Non-drowsy (ginger pills) helps some too. As the season goes on, it gets better and goes away. We have no idea why, but it's a fair bet the first few days of any season he will be taking a lot of breaks and will cut his day short because he feels nauseous and dizzy.

If you are skiing and staying at higher altitude there are remedies for that as well (including choosing a lower elevation destination).
 

shadoj

Angel Diva
First, what altitude are you skiing & sleeping at, especially the first few nights of travel? This sounds a lot like altitude sickness symptoms where the kids aren't acclimating fully, but may be pushing themselves to ski because it's so fun.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
What altitude? I found out when staying at at Val Thorens that I am altitude sensitive and suffered from low grade nausea for the first three days, and didn't click that it was the altitude until I threw up after walking into town. I thought it was dehydration/change of diet. I was fine during skiing as I was taking lessons so I was getting to rest, but doing anything active in the evening was a mistake.
 

SnowHot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have issues with vertigo from time to time.
I am a Costco member and get meclizine to help with that, which is an ingredient of dramamine however it doesn't have a drowsiness issue.
 

SnowMom

Certified Ski Diva
2nd what everyone else says about the altitude. Plus make sure that they are drinking enough water. - Way more water than they usually drink.

Another possibility is that they might need their eyes checked in general. The wide open spaces of skiing and the lifts highlight vision challenges, especially for people who spend a lot of time looking relatively near like in a classroom or at a screen.

Uncorrected distance vision and related eye strain can make you feel awful as your eyes and brain adjust over the first few days. Many kids don't spend that much time looking off into the horizon these days and something like an astigmatism may not be noticable to them until they do something like ski.
 

shadoj

Angel Diva
If you are skiing and staying at higher altitude there are remedies for that as well (including choosing a lower elevation destination).
Just wanted to re-emphasize this: rapid descent to a lower altitude is *the* treatment for altitude sickness (aka AMS, acute mountain sickness).

~8000ft is where the danger zone starts, though some individuals may even get sick at lower elevations, especially when rapid ascent is involved (e.g. flying into Denver from the coast).

AMS can precede & progress to life-threatening pulmonary or cerebral edema. With fewer reserves, kiddos can decline rapidly from the onset of first symptoms. This is not something to "tough out".

The air gets thinner as you ascend. Everyone's ill because they are not getting enough oxygen to their tissues. Our human bodies are great at anaerobic energy in short bursts, but when we're trying to sleep and rest, this doesn't work.

Rate of ascent, final elevation, and individual physiology all affect AMS susceptibility.

If flying in from sea level, consider spending the first day or 2 at a much lower elevation than your final destination. Extra hydration & potassium will help support the acclimatization process.
 

brooksnow

Angel Diva
I'll agree that the problem is likely the altitude, but since other possibilities came up:
My husband gets nauseous and dizziness at the start of each season from the motion and all the white. "Less drowsy" dramamine helps.
I have issues with vertigo from time to time.
I am a Costco member and get meclizine to help with that, which is an ingredient of dramamine however it doesn't have a drowsiness issue.
Add me to the list of people who take meclizine for nausea when skiing in flat light conditions. I always have some in my pocket.
 

aloha.hau

Diva in Training
Thank-you for all your responses Divas!

Our most visited mountains have bases at tad over 6,700 ft and 9,000 ft. We drive there.
 

aloha.hau

Diva in Training
Just wanted to re-emphasize this: rapid descent to a lower altitude is *the* treatment for altitude sickness (aka AMS, acute mountain sickness).

~8000ft is where the danger zone starts, though some individuals may even get sick at lower elevations, especially when rapid ascent is involved (e.g. flying into Denver from the coast).

AMS can precede & progress to life-threatening pulmonary or cerebral edema. With fewer reserves, kiddos can decline rapidly from the onset of first symptoms. This is not something to "tough out".

The air gets thinner as you ascend. Everyone's ill because they are not getting enough oxygen to their tissues. Our human bodies are great at anaerobic energy in short bursts, but when we're trying to sleep and rest, this doesn't work.

Rate of ascent, final elevation, and individual physiology all affect AMS susceptibility.

If flying in from sea level, consider spending the first day or 2 at a much lower elevation than your final destination. Extra hydration & potassium will help support the acclimatization process.
Thank-you for the info. I push water on my kids every ride lift ride. I'll up it to more than just a couple sips. The potassium thing is interesting. Perhaps an excuse to buy a banana saver.
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
Our most visited mountains have bases at tad over 6,700 ft and 9,000 ft. We drive there.
I live at sea level as well (elev. 40ft). With a base at 6,700ft...I feel the altitude as I'm skiing, but not to the point of getting headaches, just generally feel a bit sluggish for a couple days. 9,000ft is a guaranteed headache for me (though LOTS of water, hydration/sport drinks, and ibuprofen generally curbs it okay). I've gotten nauseous as well at those higher elevations. One of my last trips I stayed at about 8,000ft and grabbed a Boost oxygen can from the drug store before heading up...it seemed to help quite a bit.

I'd recommend talking to their doctor about what they're experiencing. For adults, they'll sometimes offer Diamox, which can help with acclimation. But I'm not so sure what the recommendations are for kids.

As others have mentioned earlier, acute mountain sickness is not something you want to mess around with, and athletic activities can escalate it. I would definitely talk to their doctor about it.
 
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shadoj

Angel Diva
I am researching lower altitude resorts in the west. We already have Ikon Passes, so that may limit this season somewhat.
Out of curiosity, what are your usual resorts? Which airport do you fly in to? Can you spend a day/night there before driving to the mountain base? Finding a non-exerting activity for the first day or two might help. For sure talk to your pediatrician ahead of time about the mentioned prophylactics.

Best of luck with your travel plans! Not feeling your best is no fun, and it seems like your kids love skiing despite that ;)
 

aloha.hau

Diva in Training
Out of curiosity, what are your usual resorts? Which airport do you fly in to? Can you spend a day/night there before driving to the mountain base? Finding a non-exerting activity for the first day or two might help. For sure talk to your pediatrician ahead of time about the mentioned prophylactics.

Best of luck with your travel plans! Not feeling your best is no fun, and it seems like your kids love skiing despite that ;)
Big Bear Lake and Mammoth/June. We drive there.

My kids seem to like skiing, snowboarding and sledding once I get them moving. They have only just told me that they get nauseous when we go. This is our third season.
 

mustski

Angel Diva
I lived in Oceanside (San Diego county) before I moved to Big Bear; I would get various symptoms of altitude sickness at the beginning of the season. This did get better as the season progressed. In Mammoth, I used to stay closer to the Eagle Base area because it is lower altitude. I got downright loopy when I stayed at Main. Bishop is a short drive and much lower altitude as another option. If the kids are skiing and having fun once there, it’s possible it’s motion sickness. Especially, with those roads up to BB. I only got that feeling at night and only if I had eaten.
 

CindiSue

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Maybe they're also working extra hard because it's the first day? I always do that at first, until I get my legs.

Also I live at the mountain, at 6000 feet. I have water in my hand almost every minute of every day and I think I'm still dehydrated a lot of the days! The altitude is killer for hydration.
 

shadoj

Angel Diva
Big Bear Lake and Mammoth/June. We drive there.

My kids seem to like skiing, snowboarding and sledding once I get them moving. They have only just told me that they get nauseous when we go. This is our third season.

Thanks for the updates! Definitely a potential motion sickness & dehydration issue (with or without AMS), not to mention the time change. I remember flying back from Hawaii to ND when I was 8 and going to school the next morning. Teacher said I was kind of a zombie!
 

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