About Altitude Sickness

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.

AltitudeEffective Oxygen %Oxygen Category
4000ft/1219m17.9 % Low Altitude
5000ft/1524m17.3 %Moderate Altitude 
6000ft/1829m16.6 %Moderate Altitude
7000ft/2134m16.0 %Moderate Altitude
8000ft/2438m15.4 %Moderate Altitude
9000ft/2743m14.8 %Moderate Altitude
10000ft/304814.3 %High Altitude 
11000ft/3353m13.7 %High Altitude 
12000ft/3658m13.2 %High Altitude 
13000ft/3962m12.7%High Altitude 
14000ft/4267m12.3 %Very High Altitude 
15000ft/4572m11.8 %Very High Altitude 
16000ft/4877m11.4%Very High Altitude 
17000ft/5182m11.0 %Very High Altitude 
18000ft/5486m10.5 %Extrem High Altitude