Find the altitude of every location on your travel itinerary and create a Profile to show the results in a simple graphic format.
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Altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness, is caused by ascent to high altitude at a faster pace than your body can easily adapt to. At altitudes of 2500 meters and above, air pressure is only half of what it is at sea-level, leading to a reduction in the amount of oxygen available. Ascending slowly is the key to prevention. It can be a dangerous condition, so it is very important to recognise and react to symptoms at an early stage.
Mild symptoms can include nausea, headache, vomiting and sleeplessness. However, altitude sickness can progress rapidly to more serious forms affecting either the lungs or the brain. Pulmonary or cerebral odema can develop (a build-up of tissue fluid in the lungs or the brain) which – treated – if left can be fatal.
Many people who are travelling to altitude use medication called Diamox (acetazolamide), which can help speed up the body’s acclimatisation. This can be used either for prevention or for treatment. We will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your trip.
Many people who are doing serious trekking may also choose to take a pulse oximeter with them. This is a small portable device that allows the monitoring of oxygen levels in the blood stream.
High altitude destinations include popular locations that fall on the Andes Mountain Range in South America, such as Machu Pichu or La Paz in Bolivia. Other popular destinations include Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan or Tanzania (Mt Kilimanjaro).
Why not use our Altitude Calculator to check the altitude at your destination, and to prepare an altitude profile of your trip, to help assess whether your pace of ascent puts you at risk? Bring it along when you come and see us!
For further information and a consultation with an experienced member of our travel clinic team, book an appointment online here, or call us on 020 7353 5678.
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