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High altitude sickness

High altitude sickness affects a trekker in the mountain after 2400 meters high above the sea level in Nepal. An unusual symptom appears due to a lack of hiking practice, oxygen, plant, temperature and geographical location. The symptoms are a headache, sleeping disturbance, fatigue, loss of appetite and breathing problem. These are feeling during a trekking, expedition, and climbing at the alpine pass, mountain base camp, and viewpoint. An irregular mountain causes fast ascending to high elevation. Most of the international travelers from the sea level can be suffered at least 3% with the unusual moment.

High altitude sickness happens because of environment, geology, and geography of the Himalayan region. The reasons are low oxygen pressure, low temperature, less vegetation, high radiation value, and low humidity of the air, poor climate condition, and steep lands. Trekkers should take care if they got sick. Take a guide or porter for support. If you meet a sick person, do not leave him alone. Help him and advice to walk slowly, to drink plenty, to climb high and sleep low. Suggest to wear warm clothes and to descend at least 500 meters lower.

High altitude sickness is a serious problem for the mountain hikers in Nepal; nevertheless, it is rare to the Highlander. The mountain people have a big chest, lungs, heart, and extra hemoglobin in blood cell with the wide nose breaths easily more oxygen. Most travelers should have precaution before the Himalaya trekking in Nepal. Prevention is better than cure. Symptoms and treatment of the mountain sickness are below.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Trekker cannot feel well and appears a mild symptom, such as, headache, loss of appetite, tiredness or fatigue, sleep disturbance, and shortness of breath or respiration.

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)

The sick people have water in the lung. He has bad symptoms, such as increased shortness of breath or noisy breathing even at rest time, severe cough, dry with difficulty for a cough, unusual fatigue while walking, high pulse rate (i.e. 110), and blueness of face, lip or fingernails.

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)

The sick people get a mental problem after water in the head. The symptoms are severe headaches, vomiting, nausea, drunken gait (walking like a drunk), hallucinates (mental confusion), irritable, swelling (Edema), and unconsciousness or coma.

Prevention of an Altitude Sickness

Mountain visitors should be careful if feeling the mentioned symptoms. The prevention can be useful, such as acclimatization, ascend slowly, climbing high, sleep low, wear proper clothes, drink at least 4/5 liters every day with a tea, coffee, juice, and boiled water, and eat high carbohydrate food. Do not travel alone, take a guide or porter, do not use alcohol, smoking, and sleeping pills, ascend carefully with an altitude and do not sleep in the afternoon.

Treatment

When the mountain visitors feel the above symptoms please descend slowly as soon as possible, take oxygen, use Diamox for AMS 125 mg, Nifedipine for HAPE, Steroids/dexamethasone and take a helicopter, horse or yak to a lower altitude.

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