Important point to know about Acute Mountain Sickness
What is acute mountain sickness?
Trekkers, mountaineers, Climbers, and adventurers who travel to high altitudes can sometimes develop acute mountain sickness. Other names for this condition are altitude sickness or high altitude pulmonary edema. It naturally happens at about 8,000 feet, or 2,400 meters, above sea level. Dizziness, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath are a few symptoms of this condition. Most instances of altitude sickness are mild and heal quickly. In rare cases, altitude sickness can become severe and cause complications with the lungs or brain.
What causes acute mountain sickness?
Higher altitude sickness is cause, due to less Oxygen, and decreased air pressure. When you will go high altitude in the mountain, your body may not have enough time to adopt. This result into acute mountain sickness. Your level of exertion also plays a role. Pushing yourself to quickly hike up a mountain, for example, may cause acute mountain sickness.
What are the symptoms of acute mountain sickness?
The symptoms of acute mountain sickness generally appear within hours of moving to higher altitudes. They differ depending on the relentlessness of your condition.
Slightly acute mountain sickness.
Headache, Muscle aches, Insomnia, Nausea and vomiting, Irritability, Swelling of the hands, feet, and face,Rapid heartbeat, Rhortness of breath with physical exertion, Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting, Fatigue or weakness, Feeling dizzy, light-headed or faint, Disturbed sleeping patterns, Confusion and disorientation, Incapable of motor actions, Apathy, Impaired memory, Mood swings, A reported ‘deep inner chill’
Severe acute mountain sickness
Severe cases of acute mountain sickness can cause more intense symptoms and affect your heart, lungs, muscles, and nervous system. For example, you may experience confusion as a result of brain swelling. You may also suffer from shortness of breath due to fluid in the lungs.
Symptoms of severe altitude sickness may include:
pale complexion and skin discoloration
inability to walk or lack of balance
Who is at risk for acute mountain sickness?
Your risk of experiencing acute mountain sickness is greater if you live by or near the sea and are unaccustomed to higher altitudes. Other risk factors include:
Quick movement to high altitudes
Physical exertion while traveling to a higher altitude
Traveling to extreme heights
A red blood cell count due to anemia
Heart or lung disease
Taking medications like sleeping pills, narcotic pain relievers, or tranquilizers that can lower your breathing rate
Past bouts of acute mountain sickness
If you’re planning on traveling to a high elevation and have any of the above conditions or take any of the above medications, talk to your doctor about how best to avoid developing acute mountain sickness.
How is acute mountain sickness diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms, activities, and recent travels. During the exam, your doctor will most likely use a stethoscope to listen for fluid in your lungs. To pinpoint the severity of the condition, your doctor may also order a chest X-ray.
How is acute mountain sickness treated?
Treatment for acute mountain sickness differs liable on its relentlessness. You might be able to avoid problems by simply returning to a lower altitude. Hospitalization is necessary if your doctor determines that you have brain swelling or fluid in your lungs. You may receive oxygen if you have breathing issues.
Medications for altitude sickness include:
Cetazolamide, to correct breathing problems
Blood pressure medicine
Dexamethasone, to decrease brain swelling
Aspirin, for headache relief
Other best way of prevention if we don’t have any high altitude medication than we follow this instruction.
Returning to a lower altitude
Reducing your activity level
Acclimatization before proceeding to higher zone.
Frequently hydrating with water