Doctor insights on:
Low Altitude Sickness
What happens if I set a hyperbaric chamber to low oxygen saturation and used it would I still get altitude sickness?
A condition that occurs when you can't get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This causes symptoms such as a headache, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping. It happens most often when people who are not used to high altitudes go quickly from lower altitudes to 8, ...Read more
Depends on degree: This depends on the degree of illness. But I do agree with my colleague that descent -- safely -- is the first thing to do. Additional needs might be oxygen, hydration, the diuretic diamox (acetazolamide). If the person is confused, short of breath, and not moving well, this is severe and you're going to need help getting him/her down the mountain. Better to watch for early signs than let it get this far.
Altitude sickness: Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms: fatigue, headache, dizziness, insomnia, shortness of breath during exertion, nausea, decreased appetite, swelling of extremities. Altitude sickness develops when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes outpaces the body's ability to adjust to those altitudes.
Safe descent: The best treatment for altitude illness or altitude sickness is to decrease one's elevation by at least 1000 ft (quickly and safely.) if symptoms do not improve, one needs to descend another 1000 ft. If one has symptoms of hace (high altitude cerebral edema) or hape (high altitude pulmonary edema) contact search and rescue and arrange for emergent air evacuation.See 1 more doctor answer
Altitude sickness: Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms: fatigue, headache, dizziness, insomnia, shortness of breath during exertion, nausea, decreased appetite, swelling of extremities. Altitude sickness develops when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes outpaces the body's ability to adjust to those altitudes.See 1 more doctor answer
No: If by that you mean you have come back to lowland and yet have nausea, headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, fatigue, look for another cause. Altitude headache by itself should resolve at low altitude by 12 hours. If you have shortness of breath or cough- high altitude pulmonary edema can persist up to 48 hours after returning to low altitude. Go see your health provider.
8000 feet but:: 8000 ft is often when people notice significant symptoms yet at 5000 ft many are breathless ; those who are very susceptible may complain of headache or occasional nausea. More serious high altitude pulmonary edema or high altitude cerebral edema emerge at higher altitude but it is speed of ascent rather than absolute height which increases risk. Danger very high at or above 11, 500 ft.
Altitude sickness: The risk of altitude sickness typically increases with the rate of ascension and elevation height. That is, the higher and faster one climbs, the worse the altitude sickness can become. The best exercise is altitude acclimatization and training in sequentially higher altitudes. Adequate hydration, avoidance of strenuous exercises, and certain meds can also help. Good luck and happy climbing!
At which heights have people got altitude sickness, curious what the lowest point would be that people know of?
8000 feet: 8000 feet is the norm at which people may begin to notice significant symptoms but at 5000 feet many are breathless ; those who are very susceptible may complain of headache or occasional nausea. More serious high altitude pulmonary edema or high altitude cerebral edema emerge at higher altitude but it is speed of ascent rather than absolute height that increases risk. Danger very high > 11, 500 fee.
Wondering why mountain climbers suffering from altitude sickness often suffer from coughing that yields a frothy fluid?
Pulmonary edema: When we experience extreme pressure changes, the fluid balance in the body can break down. The fluid in the blood moving through the lungs can be sucked into the airway, leading to frothy fluid (usually also pink) when one coughs. It happens when sudden change, not from long-term living at high altitude.
Go slow: If possible, acclimate slowly (ie: go up only 1000-2000 feet each day once you get above 4000 feet and rest lots). Drink LOTS of water, eat foods high in iron and carbohydrates, avoid alcohol and other sedatives, and ask your doctor if a prescription for acetazolamide might be right for you.See 2 more doctor answers
Be Cautious: Climb slowly: let your body acclimate climb high, sleep low—sleeping at lower altitude then you have spent the day hiking lets body adjust hydrate if ill with headache, nausea, irritable, feeling hung over—go back down. Altitude can be fatal. Consider Diamox (acetazolamide) to prevent altitude sickness—talk to travel/ wilderness provider. It does not make you bullet proof ; still respect signs of sickness.
Be Smart: Diamox--a diuretic that is sulfa based--should be taken 12-24 hours before reaching the trouble making altitude. Also, limit activities; go slow the first day or two. If you can, sleep at a lower altitude than what you are skiing or touring at: this will reduce symptoms too. High dose Motrin with food has been shown useful but discuss with travel provider first. If ill, drop altitude to be safe!See 1 more doctor answer
How do I go from sea-level to sky high? I live at sea-level and am going to be hiking in colorado. What can I do to avoid altitude sickness?
Diamox (acetazolamide).: If you are going to colorado in a short period of time to do some hiking you might see your physician to see if you are a candidate to use diamox, (acetazolamide) a medication which can prevent you from getting mountain sickness (altitude sickness). Have a good trip.See 2 more doctor answers
I need something for preventive altitude sickness. I have acetak. What dosage should I take? 250 mg twice a day starting a day before my hike?
Wait!: That dose is for treatment of altitude sickness not prevention unless you weigh >220 pounds, wildern 125 mg twice a day starting 24 hours before planned altitude is usual dose. But what altitude are you going to ; what rate ascent? Do you know warning signs, side effects medicines, other ways to avoid altitude sickness? See a travel or wilderness specialist if you can first.See 2 more doctor answers
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