Symptoms

Altitude Illnesses can be recognised by symptoms, which can take on any combination, the most common are:

AMS – symptoms may include:

  • Headache                                – mild/moderate pains /can feel like hangover or cold
  • Feeling tired                            – mild lethargy
  • Loss of appetite                      – feel/be sick
  • Difficulty sleeping                   – restless/waking frequently
  • Dehydration                            – drink plenty of water-avoid alcohol (for at least 48 hours)
  • Breathing                                – shortness of breath- even while resting
  • Urine                                       – frequently needing the toilet

HAPE – symptoms may include:

  • Headache                                 – strong pains
  • Breathlessness                         – especially while resting/lying down
  • Breathing                                  – fast, shallow
  • Gurgling                                    – rattling breaths
  • Chest                                        – tightness, congestion
  • Delirious                                    – confusion when speaking
  • Coughing                                  – frothy or pink sputum
  • Drowsiness                               – strong lethargy/semi conscious
  • Loss of appetite                       – feel/be sick
  • Lips/Skin                                 – blue or grey

HACE – symptoms may include:

  • Headache                                      – severe pains
  • Vomiting                                        – extreme sickness
  • Vision                                             – blurred or double vision
  • Delirious                                       – confusion/rambling speech
  • Co-ordination loss                        – unable to walk in straight line
  • Changing Behaviour                     – feel irritable, behaving irrationally
  • Drowsiness                                   – severe lethargy/exhaustion
  • Hallucinations                               – hearing, seeing, smelling strange/odd things
  • Loss of consciousness                 – coma

These symptoms may give you an indication you are experiencing an Altitude Illness.

It is very important to know that you can experience HAPE without having AMS symptoms.

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