Altitude sickness is a condition which affects some people when they are on a high mountain. This is because of the decrease in atmospheric pressure which makes it harder to inhale enough oxygen. Altitude sickness in its mildest form can occur at a height of 2,500m above sea level and can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches and breathing difficulties which can become potentially fatal if left untreated.
The symptoms can be prevented by using a medication such as Diamox before you begin to ascend. At euroClinix, you can buy medication which can be used to prevent altitude sickness before going abroad. You will need to fill in a free online consultation so that a doctor can be sure that it will be a safe and effective medication for you before it is dispatched for free next day delivery.
Diamox, also known as acetazolamide, is a treatment used to prevent altitude sickness in conjunction with appropriate acclimatisation methods. It works by increasing urine production to help control acidity levels in the blood and also reduce the risk of increased fluid levels around the brain and lungs.
What is altitude sickness?
The term 'altitude sickness' is used to describe a combination of symptoms which some people experience when they are at the top of a high mountain. It does not affect people within the UK as the highest mountain measures only 1,344m. However, many people who go abroad on skiing, hiking or trekking holidays may experience symptoms when they reach a high altitude.
What causes it?
The decrease in atmospheric pressure at high altitudes means that the oxygen supply to your brain and muscles will be reduced. The main cause for severe altitude sickness is a lack of acclimatisation. This means that you have reached a high altitude and not allowed your body to adjust to the height before moving further up. As your lungs and heart have to work harder the higher up you get, this can lead to dangerous complications if there is a lack of oxygen flowing through the body.
What are the common symptoms?
Symptoms of altitude sickness can vary depending on the height and speed at which you climb and some people are more susceptible to suffering from the condition than others. The most common symptoms for mild altitude sickness include dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing and tiredness. Moderate altitude sickness can cause shortness of breath, vomiting, severe headaches and a lack of coordination. Some people may also suffer from more serious altitude sickness which can cause fatal complications, in which case it is important to contact a doctor and descend immediately.
What complications are there?
Severe altitude sickness is considered a medical emergency and can present symptoms such as extreme breathlessness and coughing, difficulty walking, convulsions and confusion or irrational behaviour. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should immediately descend by at least 600m, otherwise they are at risk of suffering from cerebral or pulmonary oedema which can result in a coma or death.
Can you prevent altitude sickness?
Yes. If you are planning on reaching a high altitude you are advised to take precautions in order to avoid suffering from the condition. This can include medication such as Diamox, which can be taken before you begin the ascent. This medication will change the acidity of the blood in order to improve breathing and help with lung function which can be compromised in high altitudes.
To further decrease your chances of suffering from altitude sickness you should always climb slowly so that the body can acclimatise to each new altitude and stop or descend as soon as you experience any symptoms.
Can you buy altitude sickness treatments online?
Yes. You can buy Diamox online at euroClinix which can be used to prevent altitude sickness in conjunction with other precautionary measures such as a slow ascent. If you would like to buy the treatment you will need to fill in an online consultation so that one of our doctors can ensure that the treatment will be safe and effective for you to use. When your order has been approved the medication will be dispatched for next day delivery from a registered pharmacy.