If you have COPD and live at a high altitude, such as in Denver, should you consider pulling up roots and moving somewhere closer to sea level? Will such a move help you avoid, or at least postpone, the need to use oxygen?

The simple answer is yes. The lower the altitude, the richer the mix of oxygen in the air. A move from a high altitude to a significantly lower altitude will very likely lessen your need for an oxygen tank to deal with COPD. On the basis of your need for oxygen, it makes sense to move.

The real-life answer, however, may be different. You’ll need to consider many other factors such as the support system where you currently live, the friends you’ll be leaving behind, and how much you love your current location versus the one you’re considering. These factors affect your emotional health and your happiness, which in turn can have an effect on your physical health. Happier, generally, is healthier.

Climate must be considered as well. Increased humidity, for example, can exacerbate other conditions you may have, such as bronchieactasis. Consider also the caliber of medical care in each locale.

It’s important to be aware of the big picture – your overall physical health and how happy you’ll be living in your prospective versus your current location – as well as the oxygen levels in the air, when considering how a move may help you manage the symptoms of COPD. Discuss the pros and cons with your doctor before you make a final decision.

Is It Worth Moving to a Different Altitude to Relieve the Symptoms of COPD?
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