Altitude sickness is caused when a person fails to acclimatise properly and their body does not receive enough oxygen. Although at altitude there is the same amount of oxygen in the air, the oxygen pressure in the air drops and the lungs are unable to take on as much oxygen as the body requires to function normally.
Be aware of the symptoms of altitude, Acclimatise slowly. Allow rest days every 3 days. Never sleep more than 300 metres higher than previous night and/or in the presence of symptoms of AMS. Drink lots of fluids and minimise exertion. ALWAYS attempt to descend if symptoms of altitude illness worsen at a altitude or if symptoms are severe.
Consider taking Acetazolamide (Diamox) as this will assist in acclimatisation. Acetazolamide (Diamox) can help in preventing preventing acidosis of the blood and keeping breathing stimulated without undergoing apnoea. Nomad travel clinics are stocked with Diamox that can be prescribed in your consultation. The body also has an increased cardiac output and an increase of haemoglobin to help transport oxygen.
Nomad can supply Diamox, simply book a consultation with one of our expert travel nurses at any of our clinics to get a supply for your trip. If you experienced AMS on a previous trip to high altitude it is more likely it will happen on any subsequent visits. If you have visited high altitude previously and did not suffer Acute Mountain Sickness it does not mean you won’t on subsequent visits, your age & fitness are not factors either.
Some medical conditions increase the likelihood of the traveller experiencing problems at altitude and should therefore see their GP prior to departure. These include: Pulmonary problems (COPD), cardiac disease and pregnancy.