acute mountain sickness, roam around nepal, high altitude sickness

High Altitude Sickness

What is High Altitude Sickness?

High Altitude Sickness often is known as Acute Mountain Sickness, it’s a negative effect on the body due to the exposure of low oxygen at high altitudes. It is caused by gaining altitude without acclimatization, which doesn’t allow the body enough time to adjust to reduced oxygen and changes in air pressure and causes hypobaric hypoxia (lack of oxygen reaching the tissues of the body)

Nepal, acclaimed for its mountainous regions, has numerous tourist destinations which are above 2500m. In fact, almost all of the trekking routes of Nepal are beyond the altitude of 2500m. So explorers ought to know about the indications and seriousness of Altitude Sickness while making a trip to the mountainous region of Nepal.

Acute Mountain Sickness can trigger a range of symptoms such as headache and vomiting upon ascending the heights of 2500m (approx). Symptoms that develop at high altitudes should be taken very seriously since some altitude problems can develop into fatal illnesses.

What are the symptoms? 

Major initial symptoms of acute mountain sickness are:

  • Headache that is not relieved by the counter pain medicine.
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Weakness, drop-in Performance
  • Difficulty to sleep
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Preventive measures of Acute Mountain Sickness

  • Walk slowly, take small steps.
  • Once you are above 3000m, ascend 300m per day and acclimatize after each 1000m.
  • Never walk alone in such high altitude and only climb with an experienced guide.
  • Drink sufficient water.
  • Garlic and Lemons are known as foods that can prevent altitude sickness.
  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and sleeping peel. All these can slow your breathing, which is extremely dangerous for low air condition.
  • Ask your doctor for Altitude Sickness preventive medicines.
  • Being healthy and fit doesn’t reduce your chance of getting altitude sickness and just because you have not experienced altitude sickness in the past, doesn’t mean you are immune to the condition during future climbs.
  • Remember that your chances of acute mountain sickness are higher if you have experienced it before.

First aid

  • You must be able to recognize the early symptoms of altitude sickness, and you should watch carefully for symptoms when you are at risk because of altitude sickness can be life-threatening.
  • The first rule of initial symptoms of altitude sickness is don’t climb any higher, camp, and wait until the symptoms subside. This can take a couple of days.
  • Breath deeply every few minutes
  •  In case of severe Acute Mountain Sickness, stop ascending and start descending immediately.     
  •  Visit the hospital/Health check post.