What you need to know about Altitude Sickness:
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a dream for many, and getting to the top is a great achievement. However, like everything else in life, there are always a few challenges that you must overcome before getting to the top. The tough climb, the intense weather conditions, altitude sickness are just a few of the many worries climbers have before climbing Kilimanjaro. Since you are reading this article, we know that you too, have concerns about your health while climbing the mountain.
Altitude sickness is also called mountain sickness. Altitude sickness may not affect every one of us, but it is something to be cautious about. It is caused by lower levels of oxygen as we ascend higher altitudes.
Early symptoms of altitude sickness may include headaches, fatigue and insomnia. Later symptoms may include shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, respiratory failure, cerebral edema, coma and sometimes death. Many people with mild altitude sickness have not much to worry about, but if the symptoms get worse, urgent medical care is needed.
Medical treatment for altitude sickness may include Diamox and dexamethasone, pain killers among others. A survey conducted by YAS (Your African Safari) on using Diamox to summit Kilimanjaro can be seen in the link below:
The best way to treat it however is to descend and go to lower altitudes. Prevention of altitude sickness is by acclimatizing the body to increasing altitude. Prevention of acute mountain sickness is sometimes with acetazolamide medication. It is also important that you climb the mountain slowly and gradually, and to stay hydrated all the time.