How to Handle Altitude Sickness While Trekking in Nepal

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Altitude Sickness

Before you go trekking in Nepal, you should know what is Altitude sickness is, how it occurs, and how to be safe from it.

One of the common things that occur to travelers while trekking to high altitudes is Altitude sickness. The name itself says a sickness that occurs due to altitude.

AMS can occur if you travel to high altitudes too quickly.

What is Altitude Mountain Sickness(AMS)?

Acute Mountain Sickness (for short “AMS”) is a threat to personal health when traveling at high altitudes. It occurs above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet) commonly.

Since Air is always “thinner” at high altitudes, Oxygen level at high altitudes is not enough for all. That’s why some people can’t adjust to a high-altitude environment. Mainly if visitors make a rapid walk at a High altitude, they cannot get as much oxygen as they need. That’s why AMS can attack them. However, if the body gets enough time to adjust altitude, the symptoms(AMS) go away.

What are the common symptoms of Altitude sickness?

Commonly people will feel shortness of breath, Headaches, Vomiting, difficulty sleeping as a general AMS symptom, and the onset of pulmonary edema or fluid in the lungs are serious symptoms of AMS. It’s vital to acclimatize while trekking in Nepal.

Though symptoms vary, some major primary symptoms are listed below.

  • Common symptoms: Fast heart rate, Headache, Insufficient urine production, or Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Whole-body: Loss of appetite, Fatigue, Nausea, Vomiting, and Inability to exercise
  • Respiratory: Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
  • Sleep: sleepiness or difficulty sleep

While acute mountain sickness gets worst(HACE or HAPE), the best remedy is to descend. As much as possible, descend immediately if AMS gets worse while you’re trekking in Nepal.

Ultimate Guide to Handle Altitude Sickness(AMS) While Trekking in Nepal

There is a non-proportional relationship between the Oxygen level in Air and altitude. Because as much as we go higher, oxygen on-air declines. So we have to make our body fit to adjust even at low oxygen levels. In order to do that, we should give enough time to our body for altitude acclimatization. If we start the trek from the level of altitude our body starts to acclimatize itself automatically. Every normal human being has acclimatization power if we give enough time wisely. Nonetheless, here is the list of how to stay safe from altitude(mountain) sickness.

  1. Ascend slowly while trekking/hiking. (It is the best way)
  2. Avoid Alcohol upon reaching 3000m. It creates dehydration and is also bad for acclimatization.
  3. Don’t smoke, Smoking can create AMS
  4. Avoid Sleeping Pills. Sleeping pills can be the cause of AMS because it creates dehydration.
  5. Drink at least 3 liters of water each trekking day.
  6. Don’t stay a long time outside of the hotel

In our Base Camp Hike’s Trekking Guide team, all of the guides are experienced. All of the guides know how to be safe from mountain sickness. Because they have basic medical training with long years of experience. So they know very well how to handle Altitude sickness in an effective way.