Are you plagued with headaches every time you arrive at your mountain home? It could be more than mere coincidence that your head begins to ache soon after you breathe in the fresh mountain air. You may have heard that mountain air is thinner, and it is true. The barometric pressure drops at high altitude, which can result in 30% less oxygen in the air compared to air at sea level. You may begin to notice the effects of less oxygen at as little as 6,000 feet.  Most ski towns are at least 7,000 feet, and by the time you get to the top of a ski lift, the air is even thinner.

Your heart and lungs work harder to take in more air to compensate for the lower oxygen content. This can cause a type of apnea called periodic breathing while you sleep. Additionally, the drop in barometric pressure can reduce your body’s ability to extract oxygen from your blood. The result is lower blood oxygen saturation, a condition called hypoxia. Headaches are one of the first symptoms and may be accompanied by insomnia, indigestion, and fatigue. Traveling to a lower altitude where there is more oxygen eliminates the symptoms, but it also eliminates your ability to enjoy your mountain home. Fortunately for homeowners, there is another solution.

Sleeping all night in an oxygenated room tricks your body into thinking you are at a lower elevation. As Dr. Peter Hackett, world-renowned high-altitude expert and altitude research pioneer, explains, “It’s during the night that automatic breathing mechanisms take over and the oxygen level drops to its lowest level. Therefore, it’s during the night that the hypoxic stress on the body is the greatest. By relieving that, by sleeping in an oxygenated room for example, the body doesn’t go through that stress, and during the next day the oxygen levels won’t be as low as in they were in the middle of the night without oxygen. It’s remarkable how effective nocturnal oxygen is in preventing altitude sickness, improving sleep, and overall well-being.” Just six to eight hours of oxygen at night is enough to restore the body’s oxygen saturation to normal levels, interrupting the cycle of hypoxia.

The leader in home oxygenation systems is Altitude Control Technologies (ACT). Using proprietary technology, ACT designs custom oxygenation systems to fill your room with clean, oxygen-rich air, simulating an elevation thousands of feet lower. It starts by analyzing the space and running computer simulations of air flows, leak rates, and use patterns. Self-calibrating sensors are installed in the room to monitor barometric pressure, occupancy, and activity. The controller automatically adjusts oxygen and airflow based on these variables, allowing the system to meet the National Fire Protection Association’s standard for safe oxygen limits, CDC’s standard for safe oxygen levels, and OSHA’s standards for CO2 and indoor air quality. The whisper-quiet operation can be monitored from the in-room display or remotely through a smart phone. With an ACT system in each bedroom, you and your guests wake feeling rested and ready to enjoy an active mountain lifestyle.

ACT’s customers rave about their in-home oxygenation systems:

“When we would visit our Aspen vacation home, we would get headaches from the altitude – often for 4-5 days.  A friend referred Altitude Control Technologies. We no longer get altitude sick and we find that we sleep better.”

 “Our doctor recommended looking into the ACT system. We have had it now for 14 months and it has made a huge difference in how we feel. We installed a second one for our daughter who was getting headaches when we would come to Vail.”

ACT is not new to altitude simulation. Over the past 24 years, ACT has designed and engineered nearly every major altitude simulation system in America. Their customers include Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, Smithsonian Institution, and Navy Seals. They bring this rich history of expertise into each and every home oxygenation installation.  

Don’t let high altitude headaches bring you down. Call (970) 529-1300 or visit act-o2.com to learn more. 

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