High Altitude Sickness
Altitude Sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is particularly an important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascent too rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as following:
Loss of appetite
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 appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be reconsidered: otherwise more serious problems can occur which can even cause death sometimes within a few hours, the Only cure for the Altitude Sickness is to descend to a lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3,000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.
Literatures and pamphlet published by Himalayan Rescue Association consists of detailed information on AMS. The Central Immigration Office, Champawti Travels or Different agencies in Katmandu distribute this pamphlet free of cost. Since these documents also give information on the list of suggested medical supplies for trekking it is a compulsory item for every trekker’s medical kit.