Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness can occur when you ascend to quickly up to a high altitude.

Breathing can become difficult as you are not able to take in as much oxygen.

Altitude sickness is also called Acute Mountain Sickness and can become a medical emergency if not treated.

Symptoms normally develop after reaching altitudes more than 3000m above sea level.

Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite and shortness of breath.  Symptoms are usually worse at night.

Acetazolamide is used to prevent and treat high altitude sickness.  It isn't licensed to be used for this as it is a diuretic used for treatment for glaucoma and epilepsy although not widely used now.

Preventing Altitude Sickness

The key to this is to ascend very slowly to high altitudes. 

You should avoid flying directly to areas of high altitude if possible.

Take 2-3 days to get used to high altitudes before going above 3000m.

Avoid climbing more than 300-500m per day.

Avoid alcohol.

Avoid strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours.

Eat a light, but high calorie diet.

Avoid smoking.

 The cost of providing this consultation is £5

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Altitude Sickness

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