Altitude Sickness Info
Acute Mountain Sickness may happen when the travelers rapidly up to the height of 3000m. Our itineraries are designed with rest days. Once when you arrived in high altitude, your acclimatization line will rise your body to start to adjust. The commonly happened in altitude are shortness of breath, light headache, whereas the mountain sickness is quite different which involves a severe headache, vomiting etc.
The trained and expert guides will everyday advise you about your health conditions, requirements and altitude sickness while you are trekking, hiking and climbing. That’s why you should not be worry about the sickness. Also we would like to recommend you to meet your doctor, advisor before you start your travel.
Given some information helps you to get rid of the Acute Mountain Sickness.
There are three stages of altitude sickness and symptoms.
Normal AMS Symptoms
The given altitude symptoms may every trekker will have experience but no worries these are common.
- Need more sleep than normal sleep time.
- Occasional loss of hunger.
- Vivid, wild dreams especially at around 2500-3800 meters in altitude.
- Periodic breathing.
- A runny nose.
- Increasing urination while moving to/at higher altitudes (a good sign
Minor AMS Symptoms
The trekkers when they entry on high Himalayan Valleys get mild AMS that your having symptoms. The symptoms to be altitude sickness at least you have given one indication.
- Hard to breath
- Dry raspy cough
- Runny nose
- Loss of hunger
- Mild headache
What to do when Minor Symptoms does not stop?
- If the symptoms developing while walking, then stop and take relax, drink water. Drink frequently.
- If symptoms do not stop and developing continuously then stop take rest and drink water and take Diamox of 125 -250mg. Drink more water.
- If symptoms growing in the evening, take 125-250mg Diamox and drink plenty of fluids again.
- If symptoms partially go away but are still annoying it is safe to take another 250mg Diamox 6-8 hours later.
- If the symptoms continue getting worse then you have to descend for a few hours which is more merits than staying at the same altitude.
Serious AMS Symptoms
The given conditions are quite danger so descend immediately
- A severe headache.
- Persistent vomiting and dizziness.
- Ataxia (loss of co-ordination, an inability to walk in a straight line, making the sufferer look drunk)
- Losing consciousness (inability to stay awake or understand instructions.
- Liquid sounds in the lungs.
- Very persistent, sometimes watery, cough.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Rapid breathing or feeling breathless at rest.
- Coughing clear fluid, pink phlegm or blood (a very bad sign).
- Severe lethargy/fatigue.
- Marked blueness of face and lips.
- High resting heartbeat (over 130 beats per minute)
- Mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
Dangerous cases of AMS
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
The brain swelling with the fluid is HACE. It involves disorientation, lethargy and nausea. Before attacking the HACE, patient will have the symptoms of fever, ataxia, photophobia, and rapid heartbeat. Unconsciousness and coma from HACE can be lead to death within 12-20hrs from the onsets of symptoms. In the initial phase of ataxia begin treatment with medication, oxygen, and dexamethasone.
Normally, 4 to 8mg of dexamethasone is given as a first dose, then 4mg every six hours, Diamox every 12 hours and 2-4 liters /minute oxygen. The patient must have to be descended.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
The condition, that builds up the fluid in the air sacs of lungs is HAPE. HAPE symptoms start progressively within 2-4 days in high altitude. Shortness of breath at rest, cough, weakness and chest tightness and at least two of; fast heartbeat rate, wheezing heard in lungs, the bluish appearance of the skin are the symptoms of HAPE. Descent to the lower altitude is needed if the patient does not get better with oxygen. The Gamow Bag may be used to the lower altitude if a person is in the backcountry unable to descend immediately because of weather.
Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
- Plenty of acclimatization above 3500 meters.
- Do not take sleeping pill, no alcohol and smoking
- Drink more water (Boiled, mineral/ clean or treated) or any fluids – at least 4 liters per day.
- Climb up high altitude and sleep at low altitude
- Never do trek/ travel without guide and porters
- Follow the advice from your guide, hotel, local, and guidebook.
- Must have to decent if mild symptoms rapidly getting worse.
First Aid Kit
First aid kit is a basic list of common medicines.
- Bandage for sprains
- Iodine or water filter (optional)
- Moleskin/Second skin - for blisters
- Antiseptic ointment for cuts
- Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
- Aspirin/Paracetamol - general painkiller
- Oral rehydration salts
- Broad-spectrum antibiotic (Norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
- Anti-diarrhoea medication (antibiotic)
- Diarrhoea stopper (Imodium - optional)
- Antibiotic for Guardia or similar microbe or bacteria
- Diamox 250/500mg (for altitude sickness)
- Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
- Gel hand cleaner.