Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

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AMS is a type of altitude sickness which can vary from mild to severe. When you are traveling at a high altitude it is very obvious to feel some symptoms like headache, nausea, congestion in the chest, or shortness of breath and you may feel some trouble in sleeping. Usually, these symptoms occur at about 8,000 ft above sea level.

You can also read the detailed information on our travel guide to Ladakh, the land of high passes.

Mild cases can be treated in 1-3 days but if your condition is getting severe start descending from the high altitude immediately. I repeat START  TO DESCEND! Yes because the air pressure and Oxygen level are very low. So, do not push yourself to quickly hike up the mountain and do not exert your body.

It is advisable to get properly acclimatized while traveling at higher altitudes. These are the symptoms that may occur at the time of ascending.

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Muscle Aches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Loss Of appetite
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Shortness Of Breath

These symptoms can be treated on time but intense symptoms can affect your lungs, brain, heart, and nervous symptoms. In that case, reach out for emergency medical services at the earliest. Symptoms may occur:-

  • Chest congestion
  • Coughing
  • Lack of balance
  • Pale complexion

For the prevention from Acute mountain sickness (AMS) here, I am sharing some tips that can help you to reduce the chance of developing the symptoms.

  • Trust me, proper acclimatization is the only mantra so that your body will get used to the changes of higher elevations. Try to acclimatized 3 days before going on a higher altitude.
  • Drink 3-4 liters of lukewarm water as it helps you more instead of taking any medicine.
  • Climbing a mountain is not a competition, so try to walk/climb at your own pace. Do not try to exert your body. Walk slowly and let your body get more air through deeper breaths.
  • If you have noticed any symptoms of AMS do not continue to ascend at high; start descending on a lower altitude. Stop at that place at least one day before starting a higher elevation.
  • Carry Diamox with yourself or you can also consult with your doctor before starting the journey if you have any medication history.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or any other drug as it increases blood pressure and causes respiratory problems at a higher elevation.
  • Do not try to reach immediately on the high if you are living on the sea level. It is said, the faster you reach high altitude, the more you will get acute mountain sickness symptoms.
  • Try to avoid traveling if you are ill before because it will get worse on the higher altitudes.
  • Severe conditions may cause a nervous breakdown which results in death so, I would recommend reaching out to emergency services as soon as possible.

Being more cautious helps you to enjoy your trip. So do take the above pointers seriously. I am not a doctor but I have been twice on the land of Ladakh and all the tips shared are after a self-analysis.

Further, if you have any queries or want to know anything before you start your journey, feel free to ask the questions. I will help you with all the best possible ways to make your ride memorable.

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