Altitude Sickness And Prevention

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS) or altitude illness is a pathological condition that is caused by acute exposure to high altitudes. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (approximately 8,000 feet)citation needed. Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE).Another, rarer, type of altitude sickness caused by prolonged exposure to high altitude is chronic mountain sickness, also known as Monge's disease.
We advise to remember the following suggestion when you are on trekking in the high altitude areas above 3000 meters. The following are the basic symptoms of the altitude sickness and to avoid such sickness We recommend few important points

Basic Symtoms

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Sleep disturbance
  3. Difficult to pass urine

Moderate Symtoms

  1. Headache which is bad
  2. Irregular breathing
  3. Nausea
  4. Mild weakness

Serious Symtoms

  1. Slight swelling of hands and face
  2. Cannot stand upright without swaying while eyes are closed.
  3.  Can hear gurgling sound in the chest.
  4.  Zero energy.

Precaution and Cure

Altitude illness can be prevented by acclimatization; that is, by a graduate rate of ascent (not more than 400 – 500 meters), allowing sufficient rest at various intermediate altitudes. The dry air of the mountains tends to dehydrate you so an increased fluid intake is necessary. Try to drink at least four liters of water a day. On the trail you can drink hot garlic soup that will help you to some extent. When we reach to our destination it is better to make some hiking up to a bit higher point and come down to the camp or hotel. This is a really good way to get acclimatization. You may take a Diamox 250mg tablets the night before flying / going to altitude. After the symptoms will often disappear and the trek can be resumed.

If you feel obviously suffering from the serious symptoms of AMS then descent should not be delayed even if it means going down in dark. In such case, should an emergency situation arise, horse, or porter will be arranged; or I myself carry you and run to lower (descend) altitudes. There are 3 radios in Namche Bazaar, Doctors at Khunde hospital in the Everest Area and HRA Clinics and in some trekking areas also has the Gamow Bag. The hospital or the clinic will take fees or charges for such services. I can arrange for immediate evacuation, by horse or helicopter, depending on the severity of the case.

We request our clients that please feel free to discuss any kind of trouble with me whether it is simply gastro-intestinal or altitude related.