Altitude illness or acute mountain sickness (AMS) refers to the various symptoms that often develop when you travel to high altitude. Most people who experience altitude illness who notice symptoms once they reach about 8000 feet. Even if you are physically fit, you may develop acute mountain sickness if you don't gradually adjust to the altitude with proper acclimatization. Acclimatization is a process in which the body slowly adapts to higher altitude. This process typically takes several days. But depending upon the altitude and the individual, it may take weeks to fully acclimate.
Acclimatization to Altitude Although the concentration of oxygen is the same at sea level and at altitude, when you travel to higher altitude, the number of oxygen molecules per breath decreases due to a drop in the barometric pressure. In order to get adequate oxygen for activity, you have to breathe more or adjust to having less oxygen. Even with a faster breathing rate, it is difficult to get adequate oxygen to the working muscles and you may find that you fatigue much sooner at altitude than at sea level. At altitude, most people will notice a faster hear rate, a faster breathing rate, shortness of breath upon mild exertion, increased urination, and even trouble sleeping.
When traveling to high altitude, your body also undergoes some complicated changes in fluid balance during acclimatization. One of these changes is an increase in the number of red blood cells to carry oxygen. You may also notice more frequent urination. Other changes also take place to help your body adapt to this change in altitude.
The problem of altitude illness starts when acclimatization does not keep pace with your ascent to high altitude. This often happens when you ascend too quickly or go from sea level to high altitude in a day. It's helpful to follow some basic guidelines if you plan to travel to high altitude.
Preventing Altitude Illness The best way to prevent altitude illness is by making a slow, gradual ascent to altitude and give yourself time to acclimatize. Rates of acclimation are not the same for everyone. So it is difficult to determine the amount of time you will require. Some general guidelines include the following:
* Avoid flying directly into high altitude. Start at or below 10,000 feet and walk up gradually. * Climb high and sleep low. This is the climber's golden rule. Once you reach 10,000 feet, avoid increasing your sleeping elevation more than 1000 feet per night. * For every 3000 feet you ascend, spend two nights at the same elevation. * Eat a high carbohydrate diet (70% of calories) while at altitude. * Avoid alcohol. * Stay hydrated. Remember that acclimatization often results in fluid loss and dehydration occurs more quickly at high altitude, so it's important to replenish loss fluids.
Recognizing Altitude Illness After ascending to 8000 feet or more, you may notice symptoms of altitude illness. These include:
* A headache is often the first warning sign of altitude illness. * Dizziness * Loss of appetite * Shortness of breath * Trouble sleeping * Nausea * Vomiting * Fatigue or weakness
Most symptoms of altitude illness tend to be worse at night. For the majority of people, the symptoms won't interfere with daytime activity and disappear in a couple of days as you acclimate.
If your symptoms increase or persist the best treatment is to descend to lower altitude. Certain medications can help treat altitude illness; however, these are temporary solutions that only treat the symptoms.
If left untreated, altitude illness can progress into the very severe and life-threatening conditions called high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). These two conditions are recognized by changes in a person's level of consciousness, coordination, and severe breathlessness. They are medical emergencies that require immediate descent and medical attention.
Taking a trip to a high altitude can be a wonderful experience if you know how to do it safely. For more information about traveling to high altitude, see Preventing Altitude Illness During Active Vacations.
Introduction and Conclusion can cause the biggest problems for your research paper at college or university. You will be surprised, but the research part is not the most difficult one for a lot of students. The biggest problems they face when writing an Introduction and Conclusion. They don't know what can be included and what can't be included in these parts, while keeping a healthy balance between an introduction, body, and conclusion in terms of word count. Read more
Given the individuality and uniqueness of every person, some things in life have to be unified. White collars are to dress in the classic style to work, while pupils wear school uniform on a daily basis. This allows for consistency and accuracy in their respective institutions just like the formatting does in writing. For clear and digestible expression of ideas, essays follow a certain structure, consist of particular elements, and have a special layout. Read more
Bike ride is the most elementary form of transport. In earlier days, it was the first human powered vehicle that later transformed the face of automation. The first bicycle appeared around 400 years ago. Slowly innovation and technology shaped the rudimentary bicycle into the modern day road bike that we are so accustomed to see. Read more