Altitude Sickness Prevention2019-08-13T15:58:07+11:00

Altitude Sickness Prevention

The best known method for altitude sickness prevention is to take your time and ascend slowly. Specifically, once you reach 3000 m above sea level, you should only climb 300 m at most per day. Also, for every subsequent 1000 m gained you should take a day of rest to acclimatise.

Though a slow ascent is the most critical recommendation, there are some other things to bear in mind:

  • Steer clear of sleeping tablets, as they depress your central nervous system and exacerbate the symptoms of altitude sickness.
  • Come in and speak with us about certain medications that can prevent altitude sickness. These can be especially useful if you are flying into a high-altitude area leaving you no time to adjust.
  • Climb with experienced guides.
  • Drink more fluids, even up to seven litres a day.

It’s important to note that being fit does not prevent altitude sickness, and if you’ve experienced it before you are more likely to experience it again. Come in and speak with us for more information or to answer any queries.

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is caused when climbers ascend too quickly and don’t allow their bodies time to adjust to reduced oxygen levels and changes in air pressure, which can lead to a lack of oxygen reaching the tissues of the body (known as hypobaric hypoxia).

Altitude sickness usually only occurs once you’ve reached 2000 m above sea level, with symptoms becoming more pronounced, and possibly fatal, the higher you climb.

Altitude sickness symptoms

Initial symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • Clumsiness

Symptoms of severe altitude sickness can include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Coughing
  • Lack of coordination
  • Irrational behaviour

For more information please view the Better Health website.

For information on other vaccines, see also:

Typhoid vaccine

Hepatitis A vaccine

Hepatitis B vaccine

HPV vaccine

Measles vaccine

Meningococcal vaccine

Whooping cough vaccine