Acute Mountain Sickness

Our bodies have the ability to adjust to higher altitudes if given enough time. This process of adaptation is called acclimatization. Our body adjusts to altitude initially by increasing the rate and depth of breathing. Altitude illness occurs as the result of failure to adapt to a higher altitude.

Our itineraries are designed to try to prevent AMS on treks. However, some people will still be succeptible than others. Awareness of altitude sickness has caused some trekkers to be unnecessarily anxious as they trek. The progression of symptoms is usually gradual, and you have plenty of time to react appropriately. As long as you don't ascend with altitude sickness, and you descend promptly if your symptoms appear to be worsening, you have almost no chance of dying from altitude illness in Nepal.

Our guides are trained very well to identify the symptoms of this illness and how to react when it occurs. Our itineraries are designed very carefully keeping in mind the possible reaction of altitude. You should be careful but not too anxious.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomitting
  • Fagtigue
  • Loss of appetite, breathlessness
Prevention
  • Learn the early symptoms ofmountain sickness, and be willing to recognize when you have them.
  • Never ascend to sleep at a new altitude with any symptoms of AMS.
  • Descend if your symptoms are getting worse while resting at the same altitude.
  • In almost all cases, the problems with AMS go away after you descend to lower altitude and spend a day or two resting.

Once you have recovered completely from altitude sickness by descending, you have the option of reascending slowly, watching for relapse. Many people will have had enough by then, but determined trekkers can return safely to altitude once they have completely recovered from all of their symptoms.

Treatment

Stop/Descent - The treatment of altitude sickness is firstly to nnot ascend with symptoms and, if symptoms are severe, to descend. Descent will always bring improvement and should not be delayed in order to try some other form of therapy in serious cases.

Diamox (Acetazolamide) - Helpful drug in preventing mild symptoms of AMS if taken prior to ascent. The usual preventive dose is 125mg every 12 hours.

Dexamethasone - It is an important drug but only to carry out for emergency use. It improves the symptoms of HACE and HAPE through an unknown mechanism.

Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) - It is a pressure chamber is an equipment - what looks like an oversized sleeping bag, and zipped with the patient inside. An air pump increases pressure in the bag by two pounds per square inch, mimicking a descent. In all our treks going above 5500m, we always send a PAC for safety.

 
 
 
NOTE -

 

Any reference provided to medication/drugs here is only for information purpose. We strongly suggest that you consult your doctor before taking any medications to avert any potential side-effects. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for information provided on this page.

 
 

 

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Destinations

 - Nepal
 - Tibet
 - Bhutan
 - India


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PO Box 19624
Thamel
Kathmandu, Nepal

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Adventure Imagine
PO Box 19624, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: +977-1-4441731, Fax: +977-1-4441731


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