Acute Mountain Sickness
Acute Mountain Sickness (Altitude Sickness)
Altitude sickness also Known as Acute Mountain Sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This causes symptoms such as a headache, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping. It happens most often when people who are not used to high go quickly from lower altitudes to 8000 ft. (2438 m) or higher. For example, you may get a headache when you walk or drive over a high mountain pass, hike to a high altitude range of Himalaya. It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can ascend to 2,400 meters (8,000 ft.) without difficulty.
Mild altitude sickness is common. Experts do not know who will get it and who will not. Neither your fitness level nor being male or female plays a role in whether you get altitude sickness.
Altitude sickness can be dangerous. It is smart to take special care if you go high-altitude hiking or camping (like in the Rockies) or have plans for a vacation or trek in high-altitude countries like Peru, Ecuador, or Nepal etc.
What causes altitude sickness?
Air is “thinner” at high altitudes. When you go too high too fast, your body cannot get as much oxygen as it needs. So you need to breathe faster. This causes the headache and other symptoms of altitude sickness. As your body gets used to the altitude, the symptoms go away.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of altitude sickness include:
- A headache, which is usually throbbing. It gets worse during the night and when you wake up.
- Not feeling like eating.
- Feeling sick to your stomach. You may vomit.
- Feeling weak and tired. In severe cases, you do not have the energy to eat, dress yourself, or do anything.
- Waking up during the night and not sleeping well.
- Feeling dizzy.
Ascending slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness. Avoiding strenuous activity such as skiing, hiking, etc. in the first 24 hours at high altitude reduces the symptoms of AMS. Alcohol and sleeping pills are respiratory depressants, and thus slow down the acclimatization process and should be avoided. Alcohol also tends to cause dehydration and exacerbates AMS. Thus, avoiding alcohol consumption in the first 24–48 hours at a higher altitude is optimal suggestion of Ambition Himalaya Treks.
Guides and porters from Ambition Himalaya Treks and expeditions are very much familiar with this problem and hence their effort to help is enough. Normally the guides are trained with basic medical training (First Aid) and hence they certainly can help you.
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