Tibet Travel Advice on What to Do When Lack of Oxygen
Located at an altitude of over 3000m, Tibet features thin air, low air pressure, low oxygen content, low temperature, strong solar radiation, wide daily range of temperature, strong wind, and dry air. The harsh condition makes many tourists from a lower altitude uncomfortable on their arrival. Altitude sickness is the biggest risk for traveling to Tibet. So what to do when lack of oxygen in Tibet?
Firstly, you should know the signs of lack of oxygen. The main signs of lack of oxygen are headache, dizziness, flusteredness, shortness of breath, inappetence, nausea, sickness, abdominal distension, chest tightness, drowsiness, etc. If it is serious, the patient will suffer from increased blood pressure and quickened heart rate, even have trouble staying awake and a general feeling of drowsiness. Sometimes, a serious patient will suffer from twitching, coma and pulmonary edema. If so the patient might die without immediate treatment.
If you notice any of these a quick check with a pulse oximeter will clearly let you know the level of oxygen saturation in the blood. If you are lack of oxygen, do not be anxious. Temporary lack of oxygen will not do any harm to your body and disappear after adaption for a while. But if you are badly in lack of oxygen, you need an oxygen supplement immediately. You can take the oxygen in the hotel, clinic or hospital. Oxygen canisters are easily available in Tibet and can be purchased from hotels.
However, if you do not feel too bad, it is suggested to try to avoid take any oxygen and adapt to high altitude by yourself. Because there is still a long way to go, and if you quite depend on oxygen, you will find it harder to adapt to higher altitude at Shigatse, Rongpu Monastery and Everest, which are above 3400m.