Altitude sickness causes pulmonary and cerebral edema

As we ascend above sea level, the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere it is decreasing. Young and old people are more affected by the Altitude sickness and the speed of ascension is another determining factor.

When a person stays for a long period of time at large heights , an adaptation of the organism to compensate the lack of oxygen , as an increase in the production of Red blood cells and releasing it faster in the tissues

However, at a height above 2500 meters, the concentration of oxygen is noticeably smaller, so it originates hypoxia and other discomforts, like sleep disturbances, or liguria (reduction of the amount of urine) and tachycardia .

The picture of altitude sickness can even get confused with Vertigo or relate to the effects of a drunkenness. Therefore, care must be taken when diagnosing it.

The sickness Y vomiting are symptoms that may be associated with Vertigo , however, presents some other characteristics that differentiate it from Altitude sickness : difficulties to walk, with a tendency to lean; rapid eye movements, ringing in the ears and possible loss of hearing . A acute vertigo can result in falls for imbalance , but there is usually no loss of consciousness.

In contrast, the most serious consequences of Altitude sickness are:

Pulmonary edema : appears after 2700 m., 24 hours after a rapid ascent. The symptoms are fatigue , irritating cough , expectoration foamy and, if not treated, can lead to death .

Cerebral edema : presence of headache in the neck of great intensity, photophobia , motor problems, hallucinations and confusion. If the person is not treated in time, they may fall coma .

Therefore, for those who travel to places with greater altitude it is recommended to allow the body to adapt little by little, hydrate properly, do not ingest alcohol , avoid hypothermia and use the medication recommended by your doctor if necessary. If the symptoms are severe, descend urgently accompanied by someone.

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