Can I Get Altitude Sickness From Skydiving?

Can I Get Altitude Sickness From Skydiving?

Published: April 25, 2019

Many a newbie skydiver has asked him/herself: Can I get altitude sickness from skydiving?

It stands to reason that yes, it's indeed a possibility. After all - a tandem skydive requires you to ascend several thousand feet into the air. And you've probably already heard that extended periods of time at high altitudes (like the elevations for mountaineering or skydiving) can cause altitude sickness.

It'd be a real bummer to spend the evening after your first tandem skydive with your head strategically planted above or within quick reflex distance of a trashcan. We want you to have the best experience ever with Skydive Long Island - so why don't we tackle this together?

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness, also called hypoxia, is a condition caused by being at a high altitude without adequate access to oxygen for an extended period of time. You see, at high altitudes, oxygen levels are quite low, and the lack of oxygen to the brain and body can have some icky side effects: nausea, headaches, and dizziness.

The good news?

It's NOT at all common to experience altitude sickness while skydiving.

On a typical skydive, you will spend about 25-30 minutes on the plane before reaching skydiving altitude (and with us, it's a particularly scenic ride too!). After you exit the plane, you descend rapidly and quickly reach an altitude with normal levels of oxygen.

In fact, there are official regulations in place that flights reaching 12,500 feet MSL to 14,000 feet MSL (aviation altitude is measured via "mean sea level" or "MSL") and intending to stay at those altitudes for 30 minutes or more, must have supplemental oxygen.

At Skydive Long Island, this will not be a problem. Your time above 8,000' is quite brief, and you will not be exposed to low oxygen levels for any extended duration of time. (And yes - you can breathe while skydiving.)

What about motion sickness while skydiving?

If you're prone to motion sickness, we've got a few tricks of the trade to ensure you won't get dizzy or nauseous and you're prepared for the most epic day of your life, jumping out of a plane!

Get Some Zzzz's

Make sure you get plenty of rest before your big day! We know it can be tough. After all, you're going to be skydiving, and we're sure the night before your mind is bound to be racing. However, a good night's rest is critical to achieving the mental clarity and physical presence you'll need to fully enjoy your first tandem skydive.

Snack Smart

Food is fuel. With an adventure like skydiving ahead of you, you're going to need just the right stuff to power you through your adrenaline-packed day. Big heavy meals are a no-no. Try, instead, to eat a balanced healthy meal an hour or so before your skydive, and plan on bringing a few small snacks to keep up your energy throughout the day. Good breakfast options are eggs with toast and avocado, or oatmeal with nuts and berries. Lunch choices should be of the lighter fare - think sandwich or wrap. As for snacks, fruit, trail mix, crackers, or granola are all solid options.

Another thing we cannot stress enough: on the day of your skydive be sure to drink plenty of water! Dehydration can cause you to feel less than top-notch (even mimicking some of the symptoms of altitude sickness like headache, dizziness, and nausea). We're sure you want to be firing on all cylinders for your skydive, so be sure to stay hydrated.

Over the Counter Solutions

If you know you get queasy just riding in the back seat on long and winding car rides, you might need something a little stronger. If you really want to ensure motion sickness doesn't get the best of you, consider stopping at a drug store or pharmacy before your skydive to pick up a non-drowsy motion sickness patch or pill.

You've got this

By following these tips, you can keep motion and altitude sickness at bay! What do you say? Come make your first tandem skydive with Skydive Long Island today!

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