These notes apply to our tours in Ladakh or Spiti or any region in Himalayas. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is an illness that can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or travelers at high altitude (typically above 10,000 feet or 3,050 meters).
AMS is due to a combination of reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes. The faster you climb to a high altitude, the more likely you are to experience AMS. Your symptoms will also depend on the speed of your climb and how hard you push or exert yourself. You may be more likely to experience AMS if:
Symptoms range from mild to life-threatening and can affect the nervous system, lungs, muscles, and heart. In most cases, the symptoms are mild. The symptoms generally associated with mild to moderate AMS include:
Early diagnosis is important; AMS is easier to treat in the early stages. The main treatment for all forms of mountain sickness is to climb down (descend) to a lower altitude as rapidly and safely as possible. You should not continue climbing if you develop symptoms.
Acetazolamide (Diamox) may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug. If you have fluid in your lungs (pulmonary Edema), treatment may include:
Most cases are mild, and symptoms improve promptly when you climb down the mountain to a lower altitude. If a Rider has any of the following symptoms:
We will send them down the mountain immediately to safely to obtain medical aid.
Keys to preventing acute mountain sickness include:
We will carry an adequate supply of Diamox if riders suffer the discomfort of AMS. This is usually sufficient to counter the symptoms felt on our Ladakh Tour. If you are at risk for anaemia, ask your doctor if an iron supplement is right for you. Anaemia lowers the amount of oxygen in your blood.
While increasing altitude, it is advisable to:
You should avoid high altitudes if you have heart or lung disease.