Important rules for the prevention of altitude sickness
If you want to climb the peaks of the world, you should first have a doctor check you for cardiovascular, pulmonary and dental diseases. One should not rise at infectious diseases. Also disorders of the musculoskeletal system can limit the performance so that climbing high mountains is not possible.
In order to climb high altitudes, a high level of endurance capability is essential right from the start - weekend tours in the Alps are usually not sufficient as training. Instead, the condition must be steered at least 3 months before departure with a three to four times weekly endurance training.
React at the first onset of symptoms
It is also important to recognize in time when the first signs of altitude sickness occur:
- If warning signs such as constant, severe headache, severe nausea, vomiting, rapid decline in performance, respiratory distress at rest, tachycardia, insomnia, dry cough, dizziness, gait insecurity and / or dizziness occur during the ascent, you should dismount again.
- Alarm symptoms such as confusion, severe respiratory distress at rest, insatiable coughing with brown sputum and rattling respiration, bluish discoloration of the lips, and lack of urine production must immediately be brought to lower heights.
Tips for prevention
The crucial criterion of any height adjustment is the speed with which a certain height difference is overcome. Therefore, active climbs on foot are better than passive ascent by car or helicopter.
- Per day you should make between 300 and 500 meters in altitude, but not on the height reached, but always a little lower.
- Drinking a lot is vital, alcohol is forbidden.
- Carbohydrate-containing food is better than fat and protein-rich food because it uses less oxygen.
- If you stay at altitudes above 5, 000 m, for example when trekking in the Himalayas, you should bring along oxygen bottles and overprint plastic bags as well as radios and mobile phones.
Preventive medication such as painkillers, Diamox (for respiratory problems), nifedipine (for pulmonary edema), dexamethasone (for brain edema) or Viagra (for pulmonary edema) are rather discouraged as they suppress the symptoms and thus warning signs of altitude sickness. However, they can be useful for persons with certain pre-existing conditions - after consultation with the doctor - and are used as emergency medications.