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Doctor insights on: What Do You Recommend For Altitude Illness

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What do you recommend for altitude illness?

What do you recommend for altitude illness?

Drop in elevation: 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. ...Read more

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Dr. Benjamin Constance
81 doctors shared insights

Altitude Illness (Definition)

Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness (ams), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, "the altitude bends", or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2, 400 ...Read more


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What are the most common symptoms of altitude illness?

What are the most common symptoms of altitude illness?

Many: Symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, dizziness or unsteadiness, confusion, mental status changes, shortness of breath and coughing. When at altitude, descend immediately at least 1000 feet; if no improvement, descend another 1000 feet. Symptoms of hape and hace (high altitude pulmonary edema and high altitude cerebral edema) require immediate air evacuation. ...Read more

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How come I have altitude illness, but nobody else in the family has it?

Non genetic causes:: More likely to occur if you are more active, dehydrated, or had less chance to acclimatize. Sometimes younger people at higher risk because move around more ; more apt to have relative oxygen deficit--breathing more deeply with air hunger. Another group which struggles at first are those with sleep apnea which worsens at altitude, w/ sleeplessness, headache ; nausea. Those w/ anemia also > risk. ...Read more

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How common is it for somebody to get altitude illness?

Common: Almost 1/3 of people have symptoms above 3000 meters (9800 feet) some seem more sensitive at lower altitude. Going up faster, (also sleeping high at night, perhaps not being fit, not using preventative medicine) all increase risk. Altitude illness is first reversible by reversing direction and going back downhill. If ignored--deaths do occur. Take it seriously and learn about symptoms. ...Read more

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How can I treat altitude illness?

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. ...Read more

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What sort of problem is altitude illness?

Altitude illness: Altitude illness can be a serious problem. If not recognized early , it can be fatal. The key aspect of prevention is to acclimatize yourself to a medium altitude before you go to high altitude. Consultation with an md can get you medicine to reduce the risk of illness. Many people (eg, skiers at 5000') experience mild illness--jittery, headache, insomnia. These mean it is time to take a break. ...Read more

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Will altitude illness stop me from going on my vacation?

Will altitude illness stop me from going on my vacation?

Shouldn't: Your dr has several choices to prevent altitude illness including "diamox" a special type of diuretic(water pill), cortisone, nifedipine, or salmeterol. I usually recommend the "diamox" acetazolamide as it is cheap and easy to use. ...Read more

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Do lots of people get altitude illness, or is it unusual?

At high altitude: Only people climbing to a high altitude get high altitude illness, especially if they do it without proper acclimatization. ...Read more

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Are the symptoms of altitude illness bad?

Yes: High altitude sickness is associated with fluid accumulation in the lungs which causes severe shortness of breath and if left untreated, may be lethal. ...Read more

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Does altitude illness usually cause many symptoms?

Respiratory: High altitude illness causes fluid in the lungs resulting in difficulty in breathing and poor oxygenation of blood. Symptoms may include cough with frothy sputum, and weakness. ...Read more