What Is Hypoxia?

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The human mind is a complex and delicate system that is affected by the smallest change in environment. Even the most conditioned of mindsets face difficulties when exposed to the extreme conditions of altitude. All it takes is 1,500 meters to impair a climbers reaction time, after 6,000 meters they will begin to experience hypoxia. Hypoxia is the condition in which a person's body tissue does not receive an adequate amount of oxygen. A combination of hypoxia and the effects of sleep deprivation can be misleading and even deadly in dire situations.

While certain sensory conditions begin to slow down, others, such as visual sensitivity become hypersensitive and seem to be enhanced due to the lack of oxygen reaching the brain. When this happens, …show more content…

Different kinds of hallucinations affect different senses, sometimes occurring at the same time, creating many sensory hallucinations for the climbers experiencing them. These sensory hallucinations are also known as hypnagogic hallucinations and refer to the visual, auditory, olfactory, and tactile senses. Another form of hallucinations can take place as a person is waking up and these are called hypnopompic hallucinations. A mild form of hallucination is known as a disturbance and can occur in most of the senses above. These disturbances may be things like seeing movement in peripheral vision and hearing faint voices or noises and can cause someone to become quite lost in the …show more content…

After 3,000 meters a climber may experience a decrease in slow wave sleep. Slow wave sleep is when a person reaches the third level of REM and it's considered to be deep sleep. After 4,000 meters a climber's REM sleeping patterns will also begin to decline. As they begin to experience hypoxia, these sleeping patterns will only worsen. Dealing with both sleep deprivation and hypoxia can have a negative effect on the emotional and cognitive functions of the brain, because "lack of sleep can adversely affect mood states, noradrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin are thought to play an important role in mood regulation," (Aquinos Lemos, 1304), and will only continue to impair a

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