Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeplessness/ Insomnia
- Persistent headache
- Dizziness, light headedness, confusion
- Disorientation, drunken gait
- Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
- Slight swelling of hands and face
- Breathlessness and Breathing irregularity
- Reduced urine output
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of an appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be avoided otherwise more serious, even life-threatening problems can happen. The only cure for Altitude Sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters, and the proper amount of rest and dehydrations are the best methods for prevention of AMS.
If you follow the simple advice of your trained guide, you won't have to worry about complications from mountain sickness. I design our tours to ensure clients are ready for high altitude, and arrange alternative Itineraryfor those at risk.