Can altitude sickness be prevented? Can altitude sickness be prevented?

Also known as mountain sickness or altitude anoxia, this condition causes headaches, vomiting and vertigo.

According to the Altitude.org website, anyone who travels to places with altitudes higher than 2,500 meters (8,000 feet) above sea level is at risk of experiencing this condition. As the organization explains, “Normally, this condition does not occur until after staying a few hours at that altitude.”

While no one is exempt from it, people who have already experienced acute mountain sickness are more likely to experience its symptoms again.

According to the MedlinePlus webpage, the symptoms of this condition manifest as fatigue, difficulty falling asleep, dizziness, lack of appetite, increased heart rate and shortness of breath with exertion. MedlinePlus provides a series of recommendations to avoid these discomforts:

  •         Drink small amounts of liquids constantly
  •         Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
  •         Do breathing exercises
  •         Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and avoid those that are hard to digest

There are also medicines that can prevent this discomfort. Talk with your family doctor about which one is right for you.