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Altitude Sickness

 

Altitude sickness is a condition caused at altitudes over 8000 feet due to body’s inability to breathe in enough oxygen at high altitudes.

Causes

  • Low air pressure
  • Less oxygen in the air
  • Rapid increase in altitude

Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness

In severe cases:

  • Lack of muscular coordination
  • Blueness of skin and nails
  • Frequent coughing
  • Irrational behavior
  • Gradual loss of consciousness

Treatment

  • Rest and give body time to adjust to the high altitude.
  • Descend to a lower altitude if symptoms are aggravated.
  • Some medication can also help to reduce the symptoms.
  • Oxygen treatment can also help to increase the oxygen levels in the blood.

Prevention

  • Ascend slowly to let your body adjust to the higher altitudes.
  • Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and smoking while climbing.
  • Consume lot of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Avoid excessive physical strain.

  
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