Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness

Altitude Sickness:

Altitude sickness is one of the pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It occurs above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet) commonly. It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of “flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover”. However, most people can ascend to 2,400 meters (8,000 ft) without difficulty.

In short we can say it as:- Air is always “thinner” at high altitudes. When you go too high and too fast, your body cannot get as much oxygen as it needed. This causes the headache and other symptoms of altitude sickness on us.But As your body gets used to the altitude, the symptoms goes away.

Primary symptoms of AMS:
• Lack of appetite
• nausea
• weakness
• lightheartedness
• Insomnia
• Pins and needles
• Shortness of breath upon exertion
• Nosebleed
• Persistent rapid pulse
• Drowsiness
• General malaise
• swelling of hands, feet, and face.etc

Prevention is better than cure:
The best way to avoid altitude sickness is ascending slowly. Avoiding strenuous activity such as skiing, hiking, etc. in the first 24 hours at high altitude also reduces the symptoms of altitude sickness. Alcohol and sleeping pills are respiratory depressants, and hence slows down the acclimatization process and hence they should be avoided strictly. Alcohol also tends to cause dehydration and altitude sickness. Hence, avoiding alcohol consumption in the first 24–48 hours at a higher altitude is strict suggestion of Allied adventure.

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