Due to the lack of travelling with the current situation in the world, altitude sickness is still something that concerns many. While you stay home and stay safe, here’s all you need to know about altitude sickness so that when it is free to travel, you’ll be able to take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Altitude sickness occurs when one goes from a low elevation to a higher elevation, mostly over 8000 feet above sea level. The higher you go, your oxygen levels slowly begin to decline. Hence, the body reacts adversely. In addition to the hangover, other symptoms include headache, fatigue, dizziness, lack of sleep, vomiting, and nausea.
The effect of altitude sickness depends on age, sex, and the physical fitness of an individual. Even though these conditions can be dealt with there and then, life-threatening conditions like a heart attack or significant injury may require an urgent medical evacuation. To protect yourself and your loved ones while embarking on a journey to a high-altitude area, acquiring reliable insurance cover with air ambulance can prove to be the difference.
To help you alleviate altitude sickness, here are 5 simple tips you can use.
1. Take It Easy
During your first few days, don’t engage in too many physical activities. Lay low and take it easy as your body adapts to the surrounding environment. The body needs a lot of oxygen for high energy activities. Engaging in such activities could strain your body in an already low oxygen environment. Taking it easy allows your body to adapt to the surrounding environment.
2. Eating Light
Look to skip dense foods on high altitude areas as they can make you feel lethargic. Eating light, such as foods with carbohydrates, allows your body to burn the carbs faster at high altitude areas. Iron also increases the red blood cells count in your system, providing more oxygen in your body. Food requires energy to be digested, and the body needs a high amount of oxygen to digest dense food, especially proteins.
3. Staying Hydrated
Symptoms such as headache, dizziness, feeling weak are mostly caused by dehydration. The higher you climb, the drier the air. The secret to high altitude areas is drinking plenty of water, at least double the amount you usually take. Also, look to limit the caffeine intake to avoid replacing the water in your body with caffeinated content. If you insist on taking tea or coffee, small amounts are ideal.
4. Keep Fit
One of the most appropriate ways of dealing with AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is yoga. Doing poses that turn your head upside down will send more blood to the brain, giving more oxygen. Also, practising a deep-breathing exercise allows for more oxygen in the lungs. Practice will improve the blood flow in your body as more blood to the heart means more oxygen is provided.
5. Oxygenate Regularly
The thin air in high-altitude areas denies the body with enough oxygen. The most natural solution to such a problem is the use of oxygen tanks if they are available. While the equipment is perfect, it is only available in high-end hotels. If you think you might need it during your trip, check for its availability before committing yourself to any hotel.
Doctors can also recommend Diamox or Acetazolamide before your journey to prevent or reduce high altitude sickness. The major undoing about such prescriptions is that you will use the bathroom more as they are a diuretic drug. As mentioned earlier, don’t hesitate to visit the nearest hospital if symptoms persist. Strange behaviours such as violence, confusion, or clumsiness are common in high altitude areas. If someone starts showing such traits, quickly move them to a lower altitude area and then to the nearest hospital.