Altitude sickness, also known as mountain sickness, can appear when you climb up mountains. The higher you go, the less oxygen you have. The body needs time to get used to lower levels of oxygen and this may cause sickness or in some cases leading to major complications.

Altitude sickness usually occurs after 2,400 meters. So if you are planning a vacation that includes skiing, hiking or any mountaineering activities above that altitude, you need to take some cautious steps beforehand to help soften the effect of the high altitude.

Flirting with high peaks is thrilling and fun but altitude sickness should be seriously taken into account. Pay attention to the symptoms and inconveniences you are experiencing so as to act quickly.

How serious: altitude sickness can be severe, degenerating into edema affecting the lungs or the brain. Edema can lead to death.

How likely: most travelers going to high altitude feel some dizziness but altitude sickness can be severe. Fortunately few travelers develop serious symptoms. Children are more at risk than adults.

How to get it: if you are traveling higher than 2,400 meters above sea level, you are likely to be faced with mountain sickness, no matter the part of the globe you are in.

Symptoms: of the disease include headache combined with one (or more) of the following: upset stomach, fatigue, dizziness, and trouble sleeping.

How to avoid it: some medicines can be used to avoid altitude sickness but the best method to prevent it from happening is by climbing slowly so that your body can adjust progressively. Avoid alcohol ingestion and make sure to drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration. Another trick is to sleep at an altitude lower than the one you are at during daytime.

How to treat it: the first thing to do when you experience altitude sickness is to descend to a lower altitude where more oxygen is available. It is best to seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible in severe cases.

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