Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms.
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Avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills. These depressants further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of the symptoms. The acclimatization process is inhibited by dehydration, over-exertion, and alcohol and other depressant drugs. Preventive Medications Diamox Acetazolamide allows you to breathe faster so that you metabolize more oxygen, thereby minimizing the symptoms caused by poor oxygenation.
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This is especially helpful at night when respiratory drive is decreased. Since it takes a while for Diamox to have an effect, it is advisable to start taking it 24 hours before you go to altitude and continue for at least five days at higher altitude.
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The standard dose was mg. Possible side effects include tingling of the lips and finger tips, blurring of vision, and alteration of taste. These side effects may be reduced with the mg. Side effects subside when the drug is stopped. Contact your physician for a prescription. Since Diamox is a sulfonamide drug, people who are allergic to sulfa drugs should not take Diamox. Diamox has also been known to cause severe allergic reactions to people with no previous history of Diamox or sulfa allergies.
Frank Hubbell of SOLO recommends a trial course of the drug before going to a remote location where a severe allergic reaction could prove difficult to treat. Dexamethasone a steroid is a prescription drug that decreases brain and other swelling reversing the effects of AMS. Dosage is typically 4 mg twice a day for a few days starting with the ascent. This prevents most symptoms of altitude illness.
It should be used with caution and only on the advice of a physician because of possible serious side effects. It may be combined with Diamox.
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No other medications have been proven valuable for preventing AMS. The occurrence of AMS is dependent upon the elevation, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility. Many people will experience mild AMS during the acclimatization process. Symptoms usually start hours after arrival at altitude and begin to decrease in severity about the third day.
The symptoms of Mild AMS are headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise. Symptoms tend to be worse at night and when respiratory drive is decreased. Mild AMS does not interfere with normal activity and symptoms generally subside within days as the body acclimatizes. As long as symptoms are mild, and only a nuisance, ascent can continue at a moderate rate. When hiking, it is essential that you communicate any symptoms of illness immediately to others on your trip.
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AMS is considered to be a neurological problem caused by changes in the central nervous system. It is basically a mild form of High Altitude Cerebral Edema see below. The only cure is either acclimatization or descent. Both help to reduce the severity of the symptoms, but remember, reducing the symptoms is not curing the problem. Diamox allows you to breathe faster so that you metabolize more oxygen, thereby minimizing the symptoms caused by poor oxygenation. Frank Hubbell of SOLO in New Hampshire recommends a trial course of the drug before going to a remote location where a severe allergic reaction could prove difficult to treat.
Moderate AMS includes severe headache that is not relieved by medication, nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, and decreased coordination ataxia. Normal activity is difficult, although the person may still be able to walk on their own. At this stage, only advanced medications or descent can reverse the problem. Descending even a few hundred feet meters may help and definite improvement will be seen in descents of 1,, feet meters.
Twenty-four hours at the lower altitude will result in significant improvements. The person should remain at lower altitude until symptoms have subsided up to 3 days. At this point, the person has become acclimatized to that altitude and can begin ascending again.
The best test for moderate AMS is to have the person "walk a straight line" heel to toe. Just like a sobriety test, a person with ataxia will be unable to walk a straight line. This is a clear indication that immediate descent is required. It is important to get the person to descend before the ataxia reaches the point where they cannot walk on their own which would necessitate a litter evacuation. Building and Applying an Index. Specifying a Theme. Recording and Using Audio and Video. Including Attachments. Working in the Quiz Manager.
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