“How can I avoid altitude sickness in Tibet?” is one of the most common questions we were asked by tourists planning a trip to Tibet. In this post, you can check out high altitude sickness symptoms and acute mountain sickness prevention.
What Is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS) or acute high altitude disease (AHAD), is a common physiological reaction caused by acute exposure to low oxygen content, low air pressure and dry weather when people getting up to a place with a certain altitude.
Symptoms of Altitude Sickness You May Have in Tibet Tour
When reaching a place with average elevation of over 2,700 meters, tourists are likely to have some mild symptoms of high altitude sickness, such as chest distress, shortness of breath, dry cough, headache, dizziness, fatigue, anorexia, nausea, vomit, drowsiness, insomnia and so on. It would disappear in the following days or get worse into severe symptoms, like dysesthesia, hypacusia, emotional restless, edema, shock, cramp, etc.
See altitudes of different places in Tibet
How to Avoid Acute Altitude Sickness in Tibet?
According to tens of years of working experience in Tibet, we have made a comprehensive summary on altitude sickness prevention.
Before Visiting Tibet
1. Pay more attention to relevant information and gain an objective understanding of high altitude sickness to avoid unnecessary tension.
2. Have a good rest and take rhodiola at least ten days in advance to enhance the body’s ability to resist hypoxia.
3. If you have got a cold or the upper respiratory tract infection, please cure it first and then go to Tibet.
4. Keep a good mood. Too much worries would increase the oxygen consumption and make you more uncomfortable.
5. If you have never been to Tibet, you’d better have a medical examination to know your own physical condition. The following six kind of person is not suitable for touring Tibet:
a. People have heart disease, blood disease and cerebrovascular disease
b. People have all kinds of respiratory disease
c. People have epilepsy, schizophrenia and diabetes
d. People have severe cold, fever and respiratory infections
e. People have suffered from altitude diseases, such as high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), high altitude cerebral edema(HACE), high altitude heart disease, etc.
f. Pregnant women.
On the Way to Tibet
1. It’s necessary to bring some acute mountain sickness medications and cold drugs en route, like nifedipine, aminophylline, antibiotics, vitamins, etc.
2. Keep yourself warm. The temperature in Tibet varies greatly within a single day. You’d better dress in layers that can be easily added or removed. Please note that cold and respiratory infections would trigger acute mountain sickness.
3. Considering travel time, road condition, physical strength, we strongly suggest you to take enough waters, foods and snacks while traveling overland to Tibet.
After Getting to Tibet
1.The best way of preventing altitude sickness is to avoid rapid ascents to high altitudes.
2. Please take things easy in the first two days. Nothing is more important than having a good relax.
3. If flying to Tibet, most visitors would have mild symptoms in the following 12 hours. And sometimes those symptoms would disappear automatically. Please don’t take any strenuous exercise, or it deteriorates to vomit, nausea, diarrhea, etc.
4. Avoid any alcohol, tobacco and other depressant drugs. Drink plenty of water and take high-carbohydrate diets. Eat more fruits, vegetables and other foods rich in vitamins.
5. You’d better not to have a shower in the first few days to avoid catching cold.
6. It’s not advisable to carry too much luggage with you while traveling Tibet. Leaving them at hotel is fine. Neither brisk walking nor running is suggested. Let alone physical labor.
7. Don’t push yourself to do anything you are not comfortable with, especially when you feel overtired or have a tough time. Don’t move to a higher place too suddenly no matter whether you have been to Tibet or not.
If altitude sickness happened, you’d better take some altitude sickness medication and descend to lower places immediately. If the symptoms still persist or get worse, please don’t hesitate to turn to our Tibet tour guide and local driver for help. I believe our teammates will take you to the best hospital and get timely treatment!