Altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness is caused by thinner air at altitude (which is typically above 7,500 feet). Symptoms are diverse, but unmistakable. They can range from very mild to life threatening. Mild symptoms include:
Many people liken altitude sickness to feeling ‘hung over’ from alcohol. This is why it’s always a good idea to take it easy on the booze when vacationing at high altitude! Alcohol will dehydrate you rapidly, and this is the last thing you want!
More severe altitude sickness symptoms require immediate medical treatment, and getting to a lower elevation as soon as possible. These include:
Prevention is the best medicine for altitude sickness. Resting, staying hydrated and going slower once you arrive are key.
You’re at greater risk for acute mountain sickness the higher you go, and the faster you ascend. Here are a few easy ways to prevent altitude sickness:
Any combination of the above will help you adapt to, and feel better when you go up to play at altitude. Give them a try, it beats feeling hung over from the altitude and having a lousy vacation!
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