Many times have you been busy in trekking in Ladakh or such similar places of high altitudes and either you or people near you have complained that he is suffering from shortness of breath, nausea, headaches or vomiting etc. You have not taken it seriously. But it is symptom of acute mountain sickness. It is better to know about the causes and symptoms of altitude sickness and what we can do to prevent it.
Further in this article, I am trying to put down some important facts about the mountain sickness. The most important prevention is to acclimatize yourself in the high altitude atmosphere by taking complete rest in the hotel which you have booked to stay. It may help you to prepare yourself for changes in atmosphere due to high altitude.
Generally, problems of mountain sickness can starts from the altitude of 8,000 feet (2438 meter). As you start to climb more altitude, the atmospheric pressure decreases due to this reduces the Oxygen, which is essential to inhale breathe. Oxygen level in the blood starts to decrease from the level required by the body. By taking rest for a day at such altitude your body will adjust to such changes in Oxygen levels and this process is called as acclimatization. Rate of acclimatization can differ from person to person.
Acute mountain sickness is caused to majority of people above the altitude of 10,000 feet. Higher is the elevation and symptoms of AMS will be increase. Therefore, directly do not go or stay at very high altitude. Try to acclimatize yourself properly at that altitude or descend from there. Mild effects of AMS can be cured by taking some preventing medicines like headache pain relief, which has been advised in your family physician's prescription.
You think that the patient trekking in Ladakh is suffering badly from AMS, tell him to walk in a straight line by placing toe to toe. If the patient is not able to perform your instruction, it means he is suffering from AMS with ataxia. Immediately descend from there and rush to a nearest hospital.
Oxygen comprises most of the mass of living organisms (for example, about two-thirds of the human body's mass). So, take plenty of water with ORS (approximately 3 liter per day) or fluid milk, tea, juice, soup etc. Always drink garlic flavored water is much better than plain water (keep garlic in water bottle). Never sleep in day, sleep in night only.
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