Altitude sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness Essay

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To begin I would like to talk about Altitude sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness. I will define altitude sickness, talk about the symptoms, how to prevent altitude sickness, and how to treat it. I will then talk about what untreated altitude sickness can lead to.
Altitude sickness is an illness you can get from ascending too high above sea level too quickly without acclimatizing to the decrease in oxygen levels. Altitude sickness, also called acute mountain sickness, is caused by exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. At high altitude atmospheric pressure is lower than at sea level. Because of the lower pressure the air expands as it rises which causes it to cool, thus high altitude air is cold. Normally the human body can adapt to high altitude by breathing faster, having a higher heart rate, and adjusting blood chemistry. However above 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) altitude acclimatization becomes almost impossible.
There are two categories of Altitude Sickness; Mild to Moderate, and Severe.
Some of the Symptoms of mild to moderate altitude sickness may include:
• Difficulty sleeping
• Dizziness or light-headedness
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Loss of appetite
• Nausea or vomiting
• Rapid pulse (heart rate)
• Shortness of breath with exertion
Symptoms that may occur with more severe acute mountain sickness include:
• Blue color to the skin (cyanosis)
• Chest tightness or congestion
• Confusion
• Cough
• Coughing up blood
• Decreased consciousness or…

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