altitude sickness

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altitude sickness:

see decompression sicknessdecompression sickness,
physiological disorder caused by a rapid decrease in atmospheric pressure, resulting in the release of nitrogen bubbles into the body tissues. It is also known as caisson disease, altitude sickness, and the bends.
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Altitude Sickness


a pathological condition that arises upon ascent to great heights (above 3,000 m) resulting from lowered partial pressure of oxygen in inhaled air. The development of altitude sickness is associated with a disturbance of the function of certain organs and systems, chiefly of the cells of the higher sections of the central nervous system, resulting from oxygen starvation, or hypoxia. At heights under 3,000 m, a healthy person’s oxygen deficiency is compensated for by an increase in pulmonary ventilation (faster and deeper breathing), in blood circulation, and in hemoglobin and erythrocyte count in the blood. Further ascent brings on hypoxia, since the functions of the organism can no longer provide sufficient compensation. A shortage of oxygen in the surrounding air leads to lowered partial pressure of oxygen in the lungs and to lowered oxygen saturation of arterial blood. The major symptoms of altitude sickness include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness, noise in the ears, headache, nausea, weakness of the muscles, perspiration, blurred vision, sleepiness, and decreased stamina. The symptoms develop in phases, depending on the speed of ascent and on the functional state of the organism. Alcohol, fatigue, and insomnia lower the tolerance for great heights.

Treatments for altitude sickness include descent to a lower altitude, rest, cardiac medicines, and strong tea or coffee. In severe cases, inhalation of oxygen is called for. Inhalation of oxygen from a special apparatus while ascending to great heights prevents altitude sickness. Sports that increase the organism’s demand for oxygen and thus cause hypoxia develop the organism’s resistance to hypoxia. One variant of altitude sickness is mountain sickness. Along with an oxygen deficiency, other factors in mountain sickness are physical exhaustion, cold, and ultraviolet radiation. With acclimatization to the mountain climate, the symptoms of mountain sickness weaken. Relative stabilization of the physiological indexes begins after approximately a three-week stay in the mountains.


altitude sickness

[′al·tə‚tüd ‚sik·nəs]
In general, any sickness brought on by exposure to reduced oxygen tension and barometric pressure.

altitude sickness

In general, any sickness brought on by exposure to reduced partial pressure of oxygen and barometric pressure.
References in periodicals archive ?
Of those who took the placebo, 69% suffered altitude sickness.
Although the cabin altitude in modern passenger aircraft is kept to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) or lower, some passengers on long-haul flights may experience some symptoms of altitude sickness.
We've been working on models that estimate what the likelihood of developing altitude sickness is, and if you do develop the altitude sickness, whether it's going to be a mild form, a moderate-severe or severe form, because severe would require, for example, medical evacuation," Muza said.
Available in two flavors -Elevation Orange and Mountain Grape--the low-calorie sports drink features a proprietary blend of herbs that help combat altitude sickness and improve physical performance at high elevation.
But the fact that you can be fit as a fiddle and still not know how you will react to altitude sickness i scaring me now.
He could be disabled for life as scaling the mountain caused his brain to swell and damaging his eyesight - as he suffered from four different types of severe altitude sickness.
My one concern is altitude sickness but I should be OK as I have walked at altitude before in Peru.
Despite temporary blindness and altitude sickness, Mr Kinloch made his way about 250 metres down to a spot known as Mushroom Rock - which is 8,600 metres high.
Many people develop altitude sickness, and Tanzanian officials report that 10 to 20 people die each year of the condition, which can cause pulmonary or cerebral edema.
They reached the 19,330ft summit in the early hours of Saturday, with some of the team suffering from altitude sickness, sleeplessness, aches and pains.
The Girls Aloud star - who is taking part in the gruelling charity trek with eight other stars to raise money for the BBC's Comic Relief - was left terrified after seeing a climber stretchered away suffering from potentially-fatal acute altitude sickness.
With the air so thin he was forced to take six breaths per step, suffering altitude sickness.