What is Altitude Sickness?

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Altitude sickness happens generally due to rapid gain in altitude, and failure to adapt to higher altitude. It can be kept at bay, if good planning and common sense are applied like giving more time to acclimatization and gradual growth in altitude. Sickness in high altitude is commonly called Acute Mountain Sickness. What really happen at the course of this sickness are Fluids accumulate in between the cells in the body and eventually collect where; unfortunately it can do the most harm in the lungs and brain. As the fluid collects in the lungs, you become breathless more easily while walking and eventually more breathless at rest. A cough begins, initially dry and irritative, but progressing, in its most severe form, to the production of pink, frothy sputum. The person ultimately drowns in this fluid if he/she doesn’t descend. This syndrome is referred to as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).

When fluid collects in the brain, you develop a headache, loss of appetite, nausea and sometimes vomiting. You become increasingly tired and want to lay down and do nothing. As you progress, you develop a problem with your balance and coordination (ataxia). Eventually you lie down and slip into coma. Death is inevitable if you do’ít descend. This syndrome is called High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). HAPE and HACE can occur singly or in combination

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