If you are an ardent hiker, you must have heard of hiking altitude sickness. Whether you are planning to reach the tallest peak of a particular mountain or just hiking at relatively moderate elevations that you are not accustomed to, you need to be aware of altitude sickness. Here are the things you should know about this problem.
Spending Time at High Altitudes
The first thing to know about this condition is the fact that it happens as a result of being at high altitudes and your body failing to adequately adapt to the change. From 8,000 feet to higher elevations, reduced air pressure, and a lower level of oxygen can trigger the issue and cause symptoms like headache, nausea, tiredness, and shortness of breath.
Anyone Can Be Affected by the Problem
Another thing to know about altitude sickness is that it can happen to anyone. Though some people are at a higher risk, there is no one who is immune to the problem. You should always be vigilant while hiking.
Hiking Altitude Sickness Can Be Deadly
Hiking altitude sickness can kill you. This is another important point to keep in mind. Some erroneously assume that the symptoms are normal and will abate naturally. This is not true, and you should take the problem seriously.
You Can Take Preventive Measures
Thankfully, there are things you can do to minimize the chances of suffering hiking altitude sickness. You can delay engaging in physical exercise when you get to a place of high altitude. You should also avoid alcohol and hard drugs when embarking on hiking expeditions. You should also ascend to a higher altitude at a slow rate and take certain medications only if they are recommended by a doctor.
Actions Should Be Taken Once Symptoms Are Noticed
Some of the most notable symptoms of hiking altitude sickness include headaches, respiratory issues, nausea, tiredness, and congestion. When any of these symptoms are noticed, it is important that you take the appropriate steps before they get worse. The first rational thing to do is to descend to a lower altitude. Oxygen supplementation can be very helpful just as some medications recommended by a doctor.
There you have it! Above are some essential things to know about hiking altitude sickness. It is possible to experience discomfort when hiking at high altitudes. Such discomfort can range from mild to severe. Ensure that you take adequate precautions and treatment once you experience any of these discomforts.