What is it?

Altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness (AMS), refers to a condition which occurs when traveling quickly to high altitudes. It is caused due to lack of oxygen in the air of high places. Symptoms usually begin between 6-24 hours after reaching high altitudes, usually more than 2500 meters above sea levels.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and dizziness.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination.


Preventing AMS is done by climbing gradually and slowly, taking the time in each altitude to get used to the oxygen pressure, avoiding climbing more than 500 meters per day, resting in between climbing, drinking plenty of water, avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol, and eating light meals. Medication treatment may include acetazolamide, anti-sickness medicine such as promethazine and pain relievers. The most important thing is to stop the climbing and not to move any higher once symptoms are present.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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