If symptoms such as headache or shortness of breath do not improve promptly with simple changes, visiting a doctor may be helpful if descent is inconvenient and a doctor is available.
Descend immediately if shortness of breath at rest, mental confusion or lethargy, or loss of muscle coordination develop. Symptoms of most people with AMS improve by the time they reach a medical facility, which is usually located at a lower altitude.
Follow instructions regarding activity limitation, use of additional oxygen, postponement of climbing, or immediate descent, if required.
Mountain sickness is preventable. The body needs time to adjust to high altitude. Physical conditioning has no bearing on this.
For people who do not know the rate at which their bodies adjust to high altitude, the following preventive measures are recommended.
The prognosis for acute mountain sickness is excellent as long as common sense is used. Descending, delaying further ascent, rest, and paying attention to the body’s symptoms are usually all that is necessary to ensure a complete recovery.
High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) has a good outcome if symptoms are recognized and treated early. If descent is impossible or if hyperbaric therapy, supplemental oxygen, and access to medical care are not available, HAPE can progress to respiratory failure and ultimately to death. Remember that HAPE is the number one cause of death from high altitude illness.
More than half of people with HACE who develop coma die. Of those who survive, mental impairment and coordination defects may continue to affect them. HACE can be fatal if not recognized and treated quickly.
Click below to see more videos....