altitude sickness

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Related to Acute mountain sickness: acetazolamide, chronic mountain sickness

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 ?
Incidence and predictors of acute mountain sickness among trekkers on Mount Kilimanjaro.
EGb 761 in control of acute mountain sickness and vascular reactivity to cold exposure.
In one study, ascending to an altitude of 11,500 feet over four days reduced the incidence and severity of acute mountain sickness by 41% compared with rapid ascent.
High altitude cerebral edema and acute mountain sickness.
Descending to a lower altitude is also common practice to relieve the symptoms associated with acute mountain sickness.
Along the way, one of the crew members is even forced to turn back due to Acute Mountain Sickness - one of the many dangers climbers face when attempting to tackle Kilimanjaro.
Acute mountain sickness, with symptoms such as headaches and vomiting, can easily develop into the much more serious high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) or pulmonary edema (HAPE).
A severe, throbbing headache is the primary symptom of acute mountain sickness, a syndrome that also can include nausea, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and fatigue.
Thirty playing spots have been filled in case players are struck down by acute mountain sickness, but only 11 will take the field for each team.
Swansea University- based medical students Nick Cochand and Mike Wild have led an expedition to Europe's highest point - Mt Elbrus in Russia - with the aim of shedding light on some of the theories about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or Altitude Sickness.
It is a text book case of dehydration leading to heat exhaustion and then a severe case of acute mountain sickness," says Ed Burke, Ph.

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