What is Altitude Sickness? How to Deal with?
Altitude sickness, also known as “mountain sickness,” is a symptom that can attack while you are hiking or climbing to a higher elevation. Especially this can be happening after 3000m/9840ft. if you walk too quickly.
There are three types of Altitude Sickness
1) AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness: Very common. Symptoms: dizziness, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting.
2) HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema: This can happen when it buildup up a fluid in the lungs. This is very dangerous and even life-threatening.
3) HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema: this is the most severe form of altitude sickness and it can happen when fluids take a place in the brain. This is life-threatening and soon needs to seek medical attention.
What should you do
- Hike (Ascend) slowly.
- Take a rest and take a deep breath.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids, and stay hydrated.
- Walk on high and sleep at a low altitude.
- Descend (at low elevation).
- Take a Diamox or Tylenol.
Use the table below to get an approximate idea of how much effective amount of oxygen is in the air along the route. Normally air contains 20.9% oxygen.
|Altitude||Effective Oxygen %||Oxygen Category|
|4000ft/1219m||17.9 %||Low Altitude|
|5000ft/1524m||17.3 %||Moderate Altitude|
|6000ft/1829m||16.6 %||Moderate Altitude|
|7000ft/2134m||16.0 %||Moderate Altitude|
|8000ft/2438m||15.4 %||Moderate Altitude|
|9000ft/2743m||14.8 %||Moderate Altitude|
|10000ft/3048||14.3 %||High Altitude|
|11000ft/3353m||13.7 %||High Altitude|
|12000ft/3658m||13.2 %||High Altitude|
|14000ft/4267m||12.3 %||Very High Altitude|
|15000ft/4572m||11.8 %||Very High Altitude|
|16000ft/4877m||11.4%||Very High Altitude|
|17000ft/5182m||11.0 %||Very High Altitude|
|18000ft/5486m||10.5 %||Extrem High Altitude|