Acute Mountain Sickness is a very familiar term for hikers, trekkers & mountaineers. Also, known by altitude sickness, it is caused due to the low amount of oxygen in the higher altitude. This generally occurs at an altitude above 2,500m (8,200 ft), however, some may experience at a lower altitude as well. Basically acute mountain sickness is not life-threatening & can be cured by basic medical treatment. Let’s know about prevention methods & how to cure acute mountain sickness (AMS).
But before knowing about the prevention & cure method let’s find out what are its symptoms.
Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
When traveling to higher altitudes, air pressures decrease & the amount of oxygen drops as well. If your body couldn’t adjust then within a few hours your body will start to show signs of Acute Mountain Sickness.
- Headache followed by dizziness
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Weakness or muscle fatigue
- Difficult to breath
- Insomnia ( difficulty in sleeping )
- Loss of appetite
In case if you see those signs, seek medical attention asap before it gets worse.
Prevention & Cure to Acute Mountain Sickness
Altitude sickness is a common problem in higher altitude but if we ignore its signs & symptoms then it might cost your life too. So if you ever found yourself in this situation here is what you have to do:
- Stop ascending & if needed fall back to the lower altitude
- Rest & hydrate your body with fluids
- Reduce physical exertion
- Take a full day rest before ascending to the higher altitude
- Avoid Alcohol & Sleeping Tablets ( very dangerous )
- Take Acetazolamide “water pill”
- Use lung inhaler
- Use Aspirin- reduce fever, headache, muscle ache ( in case if needed )
Don’t worry altitude sickness is very common. It can happen to anyone at any elevation. Just be cautious while traveling to higher elevation & follow the above preventive measure to cure acute mountain sickness.