All A to Z Topics

Mountain sickness

Syndication_logo
Introduction
Altitude sickness is a common condition that can occur when you climb to a high altitude too quickly.
Symptoms of altitude sickness
Symptoms of altitude sickness usually develop between six and 24 hours of being at high altitude.
Treating altitude sickness
If you have symptoms of mild altitude sickness, you should not go any higher for at least 24 to 48 hours.
Complications of altitude sickness
Although rare, altitude sickness also includes potentially life-threatening conditions affecting the brain or lungs.
Preventing altitude sickness
Proper acclimatisation to altitudes of 2,500m or above is the best way to prevent altitude sickness. Ascending slowly will give your body time to adapt to the change in altitude.
'We were at high altitudes for four days and I was ill the entire time'
Jessica Mathur, a trainee GP from London, was surprised when she became ill with altitude sickness during a holiday in Peru.
'Being careful to acclimatise properly did take extra time, but I was very glad I'd done it'
After years of mountain climbing, David Hillebrandt learnt how to deal with his altitude sickness.