How to tackle AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)Himachal Pradeshtips 28th July 2017
Whenever you travel above 3000 meters or 10000 feet, there is a chance of getting familiar with AMS (Acute mountain sickness). Many of you might have felt it but you wouldn’t know what is it.
So what is AMS?
This is the effect of high altitude on the human body mainly caused by low amounts of oxygen at these altitudes. If you have travelled to altitudes above 10000ft in one night’s time you must have felt it. People who have been to Lahaul, Spiti or travelled to Leh by road, must have felt it for sure. People call it altitude sickness as well, that nausea feeling you get when you go up high.
People like us, who live in plains where the altitude is not much, are used to breathe in a particular way and our breaths are shorter compared to people living in higher altitudes. This is because of high atmospheric pressure which results in higher concentration of oxygen in the air we breathe and hence even with shorter breaths, our body is able to cope with the oxygen demand.
But at higher altitudes, the atmospheric pressure is less and hence oxygen is also less in the air. Sp in order to fulfil the same amount of requirement we need to breathe fast and long, but we are used to short breathe thus our body start behaving weirdly. This also results in loss of body fluids in form of vapours and causes dehydration also.
What can be done to avoid AMS ?
- Acclimatizing is the best way to avoid or minimize the effects of AMS.
- If you are going above 10000ft or higher it is advised not to climb 300+ fts in a day go up slowly, spend a night at 10000ft before going up..
- If symptoms persist or increase, move down ASAP.
- Drink lots of fluid to keep yourself hydrated, try to drink twice the water you would drink normally
- Sleep is NOT the best solution; try to engage yourself in light activities, sleep only when you start to feel a little normal.
- Eat a diet high in carbohydrate.
- Do not use tobacco, alcohol or anti-depressant drugs, all of them increase chances of respiratory depression.
Follow these tips and travel safe when going higher into the mountains.