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Altitude Sickness Prevention and Treatment


Altitude sickness is one of the most common problems when you are trekking or climbing tall points above certain heights above 2500m. Though there are medical treatments for a person suffering from altitude sickness, it is almost impossible to completely rid yourself of this condition once you’ve suffered from it. Therefore, there are many ways that you can prevent altitude sickness before you even catch the probability of suffering from it. Likewise, treatment of altitude sickness is not impossible either. You can make your condition better to a great extent when you use the right treatment remedies.

Everest Base Camp is situated at 5,364 m (17,598 ft) height and you have to acclamatize well before you trek to the highest point. At leaset 2 day acclamatize is necessary and to do that you will have 12 days EBC trek itinerary.

Make sure to read till the end of this article to learn more about altitude sickness prevention and treatment!

What is altitude sickness?

When you surpass a certain height, you are likely to suffocate due to lack of oxygen as your body is not acclimatized as it should be. Likewise, the human body has the tendency to only comfortably resist a certain amount of air pressure and oxygen amount. If a person does not get enough time to acclimatize, he is likely to suffer from altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is very often termed acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE). This condition should not be taken lightly because you just might end up in a serious situation when you get sick due to the altitude. A lot of cases, including mountaineers who have gone to tall mountains, confirm that altitude sickness is fatal.

How to prevent altitude sickness?

Prevention is always better than cure. Though there is an adequate number of treatments to get you through altitude sickness, it is always better to prepare yourself well before actually waiting to suffer. Instead of taking along medications to your next trek to a mountain or high altitude, you can simply try out these prevention methods;

1. Take enough time for acclimatization

When you are aiming to reach a certain height, it is always wise to take plenty of time for acclimatization. Acclimatization is possibly one of the best ways a person can take the burden of suffering from altitude sickness off his shoulders, no matter how tall of a height he is trying to go to. Taking a day for acclimatization or doing the same more than once in case you are climbing dangerous and extremely tall mountains can be of great help. Hence, acclimatization is by far one of the best ways to directly prevent altitude sickness.

2. Don’t consume alcohol

Make sure not to consume alcohol at least 48 hours before your climb to a high altitude like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp and other trekking destinations.

3. Stay hydrated and keep your stomach full

Another major way of preventing altitude sickness is by staying hydrated during your trek or climbing to a high-altitude location. Furthermore, a hungry stomach is likely to cause you trouble. Hence, make sure you eat a good quantity of food before you start your journey to an altitude, but do not overeat as it may cause difficulty. Diamox For Everest Base Camp has become very popular amongst mountaineers and trekkers.

4. Do not go to a certain height if you have respiratory problem

Though it seems like a tough thing to not go to a place where you’ve always wanted to go due to your sickness, this is the only way you can avoid any further serious health issues. Or, you can also choose helicopter tours to save time and energy. Also, there are more options for you to go trekking as well as mountaineering that will not cause as much issues due to altitude sickness as does location with extreme high altitude.

Treatment for altitude sickness

There are several ways you can treat altitude sickness like;

  1. Descending once you suffer from altitude sickness.
  2. Hyperbaric therapy.
  3. Medications for alitude sickness.
  4. Eat Potassium rich food like bananas, greens, avocados, dried fruit, potatoes and tomatoes.

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