How to Overcome High Altitude Sickness When Visiting Everest Base Camp

Last updated: August,17 2018

Altitude sickness is a pathological effect due to the high elevation on the human body, which occurs mostly after the height of 2400 meters. There are various conditions which are faced like nausea, diarrhea, and insomnia to more severe ones. Irrespective of age, sex, physical and medical conditions anyone can get it, and this is usually due to lack of knowledge, ignorance or even overestimating one’s abilities.

Altitude sickness can be painful especially when trying to enjoy the lovely lands of Tibet. Hence it is essential to follow strict guidelines which will ensure that you don’t fall sick due to the altitude. There are various types of high altitude sicknesses such as Acute Mountain Sickness, High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE).

Things to Do Before Your Tibet Tour

A full medical checkup of your heart, blood pressure, and organs is vital to know if there are severe complications. If there are any complications, consult with the doctor to understand how these complications can affect and lead to a sharp threat of altitude sickness.

Before your Tibet tour, start a practice of meditation which will help you in your breathing. It can help you remain calm during the altitude climb in Everest. It will also help you mentally which is vital to be positive throughout the trip. Physical exercise such as long jogs and a lot of swimming will help you increase your stamina. Try to do this as a routine every morning or evening a few months before the climb to Everest.

Being healthy and free from sickness is vital before the trip to Tibet. Your body needs to be healthy and fit so that it does not get tired quickly and help you combat the high altitude in a stronger manner.

Things to Do After Arriving in Lhasa

When arriving in Lhasa which is the capital of Tibet you need to spend a few days to acclimatize. Acclimatization is the adjustment to a new climate or new conditions.

   Arrival in Lhasa  Spend a few days to acclimatize to high alititude after arriving in Lhasa.

Take slow breaths and relax instead of moving from place to place which can lead to severe headaches related to Altitude sickness in the first few days. Avoiding a shower too is a good idea as it can prevent a cold which can prove to be a deadly sickness in times of pressure changes.

Refrain from alcohol and cigarettes as it imbalances the body. Stay as hydrated as possible which will help your body acclimatize faster. Keep your head much higher than your body while sleeping using a high pillow which will help get more oxygen to balance the body.

Using the first few days to adjust to the atmospheric pressure is the best idea as the remaining of the days will then be enjoyed to the maximum. Use the first two days to adjust to the atmospheric pressure and climate to enjoy the remaining days.

Travel from Lhasa to EBC by Light Schedule

Traveling from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp can become tiring if you want to do more since you will have only a limited time. However, this rush in excitement and losing patience can lead to you tiring yourself.

When climbing at a height, you tend to use more energy to breathe oxygen. Therefore travel light in both the number of items you carry and the schedule that is planned.

   Travel from Lhasa to EBC   Take a light travel from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp.

There are two options for dividing your Everest Base Camp tour into 7 days, or if you want to explore the central towns of Tibet, it will be extended to 10. It all depends on your fitness levels and your health. If you can handle traveling by road and facing the altitude 10 days may not be that difficult. However, for beginners 7 days is ideally preferable.

The Everest Base Camp is 5200 meters above sea level and extremely cold. It can be managed by being mentally and physically fit. Don’t stress yourself too much and remember to space all your energy well throughout the day.

More about Symptoms of Altitude Sickness

Finding out which type of altitude sickness you or your partner has is vital so that you can take action against it accordingly. The symptoms appear within 12 to 24 hours.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) – A less threatening form of Altitude sickness. Dizziness, headache, muscle aches and nausea are some of the signs of this type of altitude sickness. You will notice this occurring after escalating above the height of 6,600 above sea level.

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) – Fluid is built in the lungs, and this is similar to bronchitis. It can be very dangerous if not controlled. You will notice dry coughs, shortness of breath and a blue color forming on your skin.

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) – If you notice symptoms of a dry cough leading to frothy pink phlegm you need to pay attention as this form of altitude sickness is deadly. There will be heavy vomiting, nausea, loss of consciousness and retinal hemorrhage.

The altitude sickness is seen to progress from the less severe AMS to the more dangerous HACE if it is not dealt with in the right manner. You will also notice the symptoms getting worse at night. Don’t get stubborn and inform the others if these symptoms are felt and occur as insisting that you want to be left alone is the worst idea.

Emergency Help from Your Local Travel Guide

If you have any of the above symptom, tell your local travel guide immediately wherever you are. Your local guide will have the necessary medical kit to provide medicines that can help you. The first aid kit contains plasters, tweezers, and other necessary medical items.

If necessary, sufficient oxygen can be given with the help of bottled oxygen. Don’t worry and ask freely about what you need from your local guide. Painkillers might be delivered immediately by your local guide to control the symptoms till further treatment is made available since you will be in areas which are not very easy to access.

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