Altitude sickness is known as an Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). It generally occurs when people ascend high altitudes too quickly [generally above 3,000 m]. AMS occurs when the body does not adapt to the lack of oxygen.
Mild symptoms include headache, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, insomnia and dizziness. These symptoms are usually resolved by spending one or two extra nights at the same altitude. If symptoms worsen, descent to lower altitudes is warranted.
AMS may be prevented by allowing for proper acclimatization (above 3,000 meters), not drinking alcohol, staying well hydrated, climbing high and sleeping low, sleeping more than normal, and trekking with an experienced guide.
Severe symptoms can lead to high altitude cerebral edema (or HACE) which can result in unconsciousness and death within 12 hours. Increased shortness of breath, cough and tiredness may be signs of high altitude pulmonary edema or HAPE. This condition can also be fatal if ignored.
Our guides are educated on the symptoms of AMS and your safety is our number one concern. Our treks are designed for proper acclimatization time during ascent. We strongly encourage the use of guides given the seriousness of AMS.