If you visit places that are at an altitude of 2,500 meters or higher, it may take time for your body to adapt to lower air pressure. Then you may get symptoms that with a common name are called altitude sickness.

The higher you reach the sea level, the lower the air pressure. Then the air does not contain as much oxygen. This means that less oxygen can be absorbed into the blood and the cells in the body get oxygen deficiency.

Symptoms of altitude sickness

The problems vary from person to person and do not depend on age or physical fitness. Common symptoms of altitude sickness are

  • nausea and vomiting
  • fatigue and lack of energy
  • headache
  • insomnia.

More difficult problems can be, for example, throbbing headache, unsteady gait and dry cough with shortness of breath.

When should I seek care?

Seek medical attention immediately if you have any or all of the above problems and they do not go over even though you have gone down to lower altitude. 

What can I do for myself?

To reduce the risk of altitude sickness, you can climb or climb the heights more slowly so that the body is able to adapt. A maximum of 300 meters per day is recommended.

If you are coming directly by plane to a high city, it is good to take it easy while your body adapts. There is also a prescription drug, acetazolamide, which relieves the trouble and can be taken as a preventative.

Muhammad Nadeem

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