The Symptoms of Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a major problem when you are traveling in Tibet. And it is really necessary for you to study the causes, symptoms, and treatment of the attitude sickness before trekking and climbing in Tibet. Average of three peoples per year die due to the Altitude sickness.

While traveling in Tibet it is necessary to adjust your schedule for trekking above 3,000 meters. It is better if you climb no more than 400 meters per day when you are climbing above 3,000 meters. If you fail to allow time for adaptation, you may develop the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You can easily care it with a day’s rest or if ignored can lead to death. So before leaving for Tibet especially in higher altitude places, basic awareness of AMS is necessary for the safe trek.

Normal Acute Mountain Symptoms:

Following are the symptoms for normal acute mountain sickness that you should expect during your trekking in Tibet. Most of the trekkers will experience some or all of the given symptoms, no matter how slow they climb.
  • Periods of sleeplessness.
  • Need more sleep than normal often 10 hrs or more.
  • Occasionally loss of appetite.
  • Vivid, wild dreams at around 2500 – 3800 meters in altitude.
  • Periodic breathing.
  • Need to rest your breath frequently while trekking above 3500 meters.
  • Runny nose.
  • Dizziness and an increase in urination while moving to higher altitudes (this is a good sign).

Mild Acute Mountain Sickness Symptoms:

Following are the symptoms of mild acute mountain sickness. You may expect any one of the following symptoms to be getting altitude sickness.
  • Mild headache
  • Nausea dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Dry Raspy cough
  • Tired and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hard to breath
  • Runny nose
  • Dangerous Acute Mountain Sickness:

Dangerous Acute Mountain Sickness

There is commonly two cases of dangerous acute mountain sickness. This altitude sickness causes to the brain and lung of the travelers.
The first High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) builds up fluid around the brain and expects the first five symptoms of mild and severe sickness. Normally, takes 1-2 days to build this sickness to the trekker leading to coma and unconsciousness and ultimately to the death within 12 hours.
At first sign, treatment is done with medication, oxygen, and descent. For this 4 – 8 mg of DexaMethasone is given as the first dose to victims and then 4 mg every six hours, then Diamox every 12 hours and 2 -4 lit/min oxygen. Descent is necessary but a portable altitude chamber bag will often be used first if available.
The second High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and is very serious altitude sickness. This sickness can lead to unconsciousness and death very quickly. By far only treatment available is oxygen at 4 lit/min but portable altitude chamber bag treatment can be a good substitute. If both are not available then descent can be lifesaving.


Leave a Reply