Altitude sickness is a condition which occurs when you ascend to high altitudes quickly. It is most commonly found in people who like to climb mountains or participate in hiking or cycling at height. If you’re planning an adventure holiday or you’re taking part in a charity climb, for example, it’s wise to take steps to prevent altitude sickness.
What exactly is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness can affect you when climbing to high ground quickly. It occurs because the body cannot adapt to the altitude fast enough. The most common symptoms of altitude sickness include:
- Feeling weak
You’re unlikely to experience symptoms of altitude sickness when you’re climbing peaks or visiting places of interest at an altitude of less than 8,000 feet above sea level.
How to prevent altitude sickness
If you are planning to visit towns in the mountains, or you’re gearing up for an expedition up Mount Kilimanjaro, for example, it’s important to prepare your body first to prevent altitude sickness. If possible, try and acclimatise yourself before you spend a significant period of time at height. If you’re attempting to reach the summit of a peak, for example, take it steady, and work your way up gradually, rather than trying to reach the top as quickly as possible. This will give your body time to adjust and lower your risk of symptoms. Stay hydrated, and try and sleep at lower altitudes if possible.
Staying safe when hiking
If you’re hiking, there is always a risk of injury. To reduce the risk of hiking accidents, follow these simple steps:
- Make sure you have appropriate clothing and footwear to avoid slips and trips
- Carry a first aid kit, a compass, a map and snacks and water with you
- Let people know the route you plan to take if you’re hiking solo
- Train beforehand and stick to paths that are suitable for your level of fitness and experience
- Stick to designated paths and look out for warning and advice signs
- Don’t climb or hike if adverse weather conditions are forecast
- Charge your mobile phone before you leave
If you’ve been injured in a hiking accident and you’d like to find out more about making a no-win, no-fee* claim for hiking injuries, call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone today. We have more than 15 years of experience in the personal injury claims industry, and we work tirelessly to provide our clients with a reliable, efficient service.
Date Published: April 18, 2017
Author: Accident Advice