Posted by 365Doctor on February 28th, 2016 | Comments
Altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness is an illness which is commonly seen in mountain climbers, hikers, and also travelers in high altitude. Most cases are mild and the symptoms resolve, once the person affected climb down the mountain to a lower altitude.
What is it? Altitude sickness occurs when one is unable to get enough oxygen from the atmosphere. This is usually seen in people who are not accustomed to higher altitudes, or who travel quickly from a lower altitude to a higher altitude. It could be a life threatening condition, breathing becomes difficult. It may also result in fluid accumulations in lungs, or in brain. Such conditions need immediate medical attention, and should not be left untreated.
Inability to sleep
Laziness and fatigue
Loss of appetite
Nausea or vomiting
Fast pulse rate
Symptoms generally associated with more severe acute mountain sickness include
Bluish discoloration of the skin
Coughing up blood
Gray or pale complexion
Inability to walk in a straight line, or to walk at all
Shortness of breath at rest
The main cause for altitude sickness is
air density. Air at higher altitudes is thin, and therefore the level of oxygen
in the air decreases. Oxygen is very important for performing normal bodily
functions, and specially needed for brain alertness. This lack of oxygen
therefore leads to symptoms relating to Altitude Sickness.
The best treatment is to go to a place lower in altitude. If one wants to stay at the same altitude, then it is necessary to take medicines to resolve symptoms. Person affected should not travel to a higher altitude until the systems resolve, and this may take around 12 hours to 4 days
Specialist to see: General Physician
Climb the mountain gradually
Drink plenty of fluids
Eat regular meals high in carbohydrates