Altitude sickness can happen when you ascend to high altitude, usually above 3000 metres, too quickly. Your body struggles to adapt to the lower levels of oxygen in the air and you can feel dizzy, tired, or short of breath. You might also have a headache and nausea.
If you’re planning to travel somewhere above an altitude of 3000 metres, we can prescribe Acetazolamide tablets off-label, if appropriate for you. When taken correctly, the tablets can help your body to get used to higher altitudes more quickly.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
When you’re suffering from altitude sickness, you might feel nauseous, dizzy, or lightheaded. You might also develop a headache and feel very tired.
If you’re suffering from shortness of breath or a severe headache, you need to descend immediately and get medical help as quickly as possible.
WHAT CAN I DO TO REDUCE THE SYMPTOMS?
The best way that you can prevent altitude sickness is to ascend to higher altitudes slowly. You shouldn’t increase your altitude by more than 500 metres a day, and take a rest day every three or four days. It’s also very important that you stay well hydrated and drink plenty of water.
Altitude sickness often starts with a headache. If this happens to you, don’t go any higher. You can take ibuprofen or paracetamol to ease the pain if needed. If you don’t feel any better within 24 hours, you need to descend at least 500 metres until you do.