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Goverment Reg. No.:72026/066/067 | Tourism Reg. No.: 1139

High Altitude Sickness Information

Not properly working by body function to acclimatize to the reducing amount of the oxygen available above the elevation of at 2400-2500m is known as Acute Maintain Sickness (AMS). If you follow the simple advice of our trained guides, you won’t have to worry about complications from mountain sickness. Nepal Mother House designs all our tours to ensure that clients are ready for high altitude and arrange alternative itineraries for those at risk.

The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:

  1. Nausea, vomiting
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Dry cough
  4. Short breath
  5. Insomnia/sleeplessness
  6. Persistent headache
  7. Dizziness, light headedness, confusion
  8. Disorientation, drunken gait
  9. Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
  10. Slight swelling of hands and face
  11. Breathlessness and Breathing irregularity
  12. Reduced urine output
  13. Irritability and weakness
  14. Sleep disturbance

Causes Acute Maintain Sickness (AMS):

  1. Low pressure, less oxygen
  2. Rapid ascent
  3. Dehydration
  4. Hypothermia

Types of AMS (Acute Maintain Sickness):

[I] High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)

HAPE is caused by an accumulation of fluid in the lungs. As it progresses, more and more fluid builds up until the victim literally drowns.


  1. Severe headache
  2. Repeated vomiting
  3. Blurred and double vision
  4. Abnormal behaviors
  5. Misbalance
  6. Sleep disturbance
  7. Less urine out put
[II] High Altitude Cerebral Edema/Brain (HACE)

HACE is the most serious of the forms of AMS, is caused by a buildup of fluid around the brain. The previously mentioned symptoms of mild AMS rapidly worsens, particularly the headache along with slurring of speech and ultimately unconsciousness and death. The advance of the problem can be very rapid and death can occur in twelve hours if treatment is not given.


  1. Chest pain
  2. Cough with plenty of sputum and blood
  3. Difficulty in breathing during rest
  4. Sleep disturbance
  5. Less urine output
  6. Blue lips/thong’s apex
  7. Occasionally blueness around the lips
  8. Difficulty breathing and rapid pulse rate even at rest
  9. Coughing pink, frothy sputum

Pre-Hospital Treatment


  1. Rest of same altitude until symptoms wane off.


  1. Descent, Descent, Descent…
  2. Give Oxygen (2-4 liters/munities)
  3. Give diamox (250mg*12 hours)
  4. Place in a pressure bag (Gamow bag)

The Best Treatment of AMS is Prevention:

These following points are very important for prevents the AMS.

  1. Awareness about AMS.
  2. Go up slowly. While walking above 2500m elevation, ascend 300m per day.
  3. Take rest 1 day after every 3 to 4 days walking.
  4. Drink a lot of fluids (3 to 4 litter water per day).
  5. Avoid hypothermia.
  6. Do not carry more than 10 kg in your pack.
  7. Do not use alcohol, sleeping tablets, or smoke.

Client Reviews

Tom Beavers, Seattle, WA (USA)

Karna, thank you so much for another wonderful trek. This is my 3rd trek with you - the first being the Annapurna Circuit and then a tour of the Everest region, starting at Jiri and then trekking up to Gokyo, going over Cho La, up to Kala Pattar and then up the Chukhung valley. I continue to learn so much about Nepal from you,..........

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