Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain sickness, is a kind of health condition that occurs in high altitudes. It is one of the most probable and dangerous risks involved in trekking.
As you attain altitude, your body will be subjected to changing atmospheric pressures. When the body fails to adapt itself with the changing pressures, you will begin to show symptoms of Altitude sickness.
This life-threatening condition can attack anyone irrespective of health conditions and age. There isn’t any method as such to train your body for altitude change. However, there are some preventive measures you can take to keep yourself from being the victim of this sickness. You must-
- Gradually attain height. Walk slowly and steadily as you go higher.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day.
- Abstain from alcohol and cigarettes
- Eat food that is high in calorie
- Take plenty of rest
Regardless of taking all these measures, your body can still fail to adjust to the changes. The earliest symptoms of Altitude sickness are-
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
- Feeling unsteady
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty sleeping
These are some of the early signs of altitude sickness. If you happen to notice any of these symptoms, do not take it for granted. Immediately, take the following measures-
- Immediately descend to a lower altitude
- Take complete rest for at least 2 days
- Do not exercise
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Avoid drinking or smoking
- Force yourself to eat meals
- Take oral medications if you must
Regardless of taking all these measures, if you happen to notice no positive change in your health even with 42 hours, then you will have to be immediately deported to Kathmandu in a helicopter.
Some of the severe signs of altitude sickness are-
- A persistent, irritable cough
- A bubbling sound in the chest
- Coughing up pink or white frothy liquid
- Irrational behavior
- Double vision
Altitude sickness can be fatal if not treated in time. Also, before you trek, make it a point to purchase insurance that covers your health cost and as well as helicopter deportation cost if at all you might need one.