Altitude Sickness in Nepal – if you ascend above 2500 meters, you need to acclimatize your body sufficiently to compensate for the decreasing amount of oxygen needed to breathe. To help your body adjust to it, Vivaan Adventure Pvt Ltd has designed its treks to help you slowly ascend to get a good height adjustment. The body can adapt to this situation to a certain extent within a few days by producing more red blood cells. This adaptation is called acclimatization. But even during the acclimatization process, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Sleep Disorders
- Anorexia / Nausea
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of hands and face.
People acclimatize at different speeds. Your best strategy should be to take your time, to walk slowly, not to over-strain and always drink plenty of water. The above symptoms do not need to mean the onset and onset of AMS, and if you experience these symptoms. It does not mean that you are necessarily suffering from AMS and that you should not go any further. All Vivaan Adventure trekking guides have extensive first aid training and are well versed in the symptoms of AMS.
It is very important to communicate regularly with your guide if you think you have any signs of AMS. By talking to him, he can effectively assess your physical condition and monitor your symptoms. The only cure for a proper AMS is to get off. Please note that your guide will ultimately be responsible for you. And will ask you and insist on staying better when the symptoms persist.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AHK) / Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
Acute altitude sickness is common and usually insignificant when weakness problems occur at high altitudes. Rarely, it can lead to two potentially threatening conditions, high altitude pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and cerebral edema (brain swelling), both of which are medical emergencies. When discussing travel at high altitudes, it must be emphasized that the simple motto of gaining height means slow gradual ascent and immediate descent when one suffers from altitude sickness. This experience has been known for generations in all high-altitude countries and can not be better explained.
Most people feel a bit uncomfortable at the beginning. When they drive from sea level to over 3500 meters, fly or travel by train. Headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath in increased exertion, the distinct sensation of accelerated heartbeat, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleep disturbances, and irregular breathing during sleep are the most common complaints. These are the symptoms of an AHK, which can usually develop during the first 36 hours of staying at altitude and not immediately upon arrival. Well over 50% of travelers develop some form of AHK at over 3500 m, but almost all of them quickly ascend to 5000 m.
In general, these unpleasant effects due to lack of oxygen resolve in two to three days, especially if no further ascent is made. Once the body has acclimated in this way, another incremental height gain is possible, even though the symptoms may recur anytime. To the question “how fast – how high?”. There is no absolute answer because it varies with each person, but for healthy people of all ages. It is possible to travel quickly to 3500 m, although many of them develop some AHK upon arrival. However, it is unwise to travel immediately from sea level to well over 3500 m altitudes.
At over 3500 m altitudes, the speed of reaching higher altitudes should be gradual and we recommend no more than 300 m ascents per day to sleep (with a rest day every third day). And stay of at least one week at over 3500 m before sleep at 5000 m. This does not mean that you should not climb more than 300 meters in one day (eg crossing a pass or climbing a peak), as long as you descend again before you go to sleep. The highest elevations where people live permanently is over 5500 m. But on mountaineer expeditions or hikes, it is quite possible to extend the stay for several weeks to around 6000 m altitude. And at these altitudes, you should feel quite good when you are sufficiently acclimated,
Prediction of acute altitude sickness
Unfortunately, there is no way of predicting who the AHK is going to cause serious trouble and whom it spares. It is reasonable to suppose that good physical condition or non-smoking could contribute to the prevention, but unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case. Likewise, if you have been affected before (or not), it seems more or less unlikely that you could avoid the AHK on your next trip to high altitudes.
Exhausting exercise and high-altitude exercise, whether or not you are fit, makes the AHK worse. Unnecessary effort and heavy loads should, therefore, be avoided until full acclimatization. Patients with heart or lung disease or high blood pressure should seek medical advice before traveling at more than 4000 m altitudes.
We carry a Gamo oxygen tent (over 10 people) with treks over 4000 m as well as always a first aid kit for our crew. We also have life insurance for our trekking and expedition escort team