Altitude sickness symptoms and treatments
1.- Symptoms of acute mountain sickness
Whether constant or stabbing, a headache is a tell-tale sign that you have AMS. Victims will also have one or more of these hangover-like symptoms:
- Nausea vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Difficulty to sleep.
Treatment: The good news is that the body can heal this on its own. However, you have to give it enough time to adjust to a higher altitude. Go down to the last elevation you slept on without feeling symptoms. Then rest until you feel better.
2.- Symptoms of cerebral edema at high altitude
HACE initially presents as a moderate to severe form of AMS. Signs that brain swelling has started are confusion and impaired balance. Look for these signs:
- Cannot walk in a straight line, heel to toe.
- Cannot balance on one foot.
Treatment: A person diagnosed with HACE should be immediately escorted to a lower altitude. Symptoms are unlikely to fully resolve simply by descending, so you should think about how to contact medical help as soon as HACE is suspected.
3.- Symptoms of pulmonary edema at high altitude
HAPE may or may not be preceded by AMS or HACE. Its initial symptoms are shortness of breath accompanied by a dry cough. Signs that the lungs continue to fill with fluid include:
- Shortness of breath worsens.
- Unexpected fatigue and inability to exert yourself.
- A gurgling, wet cough develops.
Treatment: To avoid additional stress on the lungs, a person suffering from HAPE should be moved immediately to a lower elevation. If left untreated, HAPE can cause someone to collapse and die. Call a medical professional if symptoms persist.