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Altitude Sickness: AMS

Many people are concerned about altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is often known as acute mountain sickness (A.M.S.) in general it may occur when people ascend too quickly normally in altitudes of over 2500 m. But if the issue gets worse, then Severe AMS requires immediate descent of around 600m (2,000 feet) to a lower altitude. The symptoms of altitude sickness are due to lower air pressure at high altitudes, which results in lower oxygen levels as you breathe the air in. Less liquid in a body it’s this extra strain on the body that causes altitude sickness.

The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level is about 21% and the barometric pressure is around 760 mmHg. As altitude increases, the percentage remains the same but the number of oxygen molecules per breath is reduced. At 3,600m (12,000 feet) the barometric pressure is only about 480 mmHg, so there are roughly 40% fewer oxygen molecules per breath continuing on to higher altitude without proper acclimatization can lead to the potentially serious, even life-threatening altitude sickness.

The major symptoms of altitude sickness

Initial symptoms

  • Periods of sleeplessness
  • Feeling extra tiredness
  • Occasional loss of appetite.
  • feeling laziness
  • Periodic breathing.
  • Diarrhea

Above are normal symptoms which may occur into your body that you should not be worried. Every trekker will experience some or all of these, no matter how slowly they ascend or now matter how you fit or unfit in the case of not affecting coughing.

Advanced symptoms

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Hard to breath
  • Frequently tired
  • Dry Raspy cough
  • Not fell in asleep
  • A headache and vomiting

When above symptoms occur into your body, these symptoms usually resolve by spending one or two extra nights (it is depending on your time) at the same altitude for acclimation. Even you are resting at the same altitude or using medicine, and then it is necessary to descend 100/200m down. Go always in the Natural way to give enough time, your body will adapt to the decrease in oxygen at a specific altitude.

Serious Symptoms

  • Worsening headache and vomiting
  • Swelling of hands, face, and stomach
  • Reduced urine output and seeing the small quantity of Blood in a cough.
  • Walking with a staggering gait
  • Unconsciousness
  • Visual hallucinations (seeing things that are not real)
  • Changes in the ability to think
  • Changes in normal behavior
  • Tightness in the chest, and a persistent cough bringing up white, watery, or frothy fluid

If above serious symptoms occur into your body, these extremely dangerous symptoms are called High Altitude Cerebral Edema (or HACE). They can lead to unconsciousness and death within 12 hours. Increasing shortness of breath, cough, and tiredness may also be signs of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema or HAPE. HAPE can also be rapidly fatal if ignored.

  • Some more method for Preventing of Altitude sickness:
  • Avoid Alcohol while going up.
  • If possible, don’t fly or drive higher than 2500m altitude.
  • Do not use Sleeping pills.
  • Drink plenty of liquids (at least 4 to 5 liters a day even if you can go 6 liters)
  • Avoid getting cold.
  • Staying with friends and sharing with the guide.
  • Keep drinking water.
  • Keep Warm up naturally by slowly walking.
  • Do light activity during the day is better than sleeping in bed or lying in the hot sun because respiration decreases during sleep.
  • Climb high and sleep low altitude, Why not even 200m in a day as long as you come back down and sleep at a lower altitude.
  • Keep in mind that different people will acclimatize at different high and way. Make sure everyone in your Group is properly acclimatized before going any higher.
  • Eat a high-calorie diet while at altitude.
  • Remember that Acclimatization is inhibited by overexertion, dehydration, and alcohol.
  • Take advice from local people

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We wish you Good luck ahead.

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