Read about acute mountain sickness medical facts: what is the definition of acute mountain sickness, what are the signs and symptoms, medical treatment & how to treat acute mountain sickness, information about the causes, diagnosis, and related acute mountain sickness diseases.

Definition: What is "Acute mountain sickness"?


Acute mountain sickness, or more popularly known as altitude sickness is a pathological condition which is caused by exposure to very low air pressure. This is common in outdoors with high altitudes, usually above 8,000 feet. This is caused by a reduction of partial pressure in the oxygen.

Symptoms & Signs

Headache that occurs at 8000 feet is the first symptom associated with patients suffering from altitude sickness. Other indicators include fatigue, nausea & vomiting, insomnia, malaise & peripheral edema. In cases of extremely high altitude, life-threatening indicators include pulmonary & cerebral edema.

Treatment: How to Treat "Acute mountain sickness"?

Treatments to alleviate altitude sickness include acetazolamide, known to help speed up acclimatization. Oxygen enrichment can also be used to effectively counteract the ill effects of attitude sickness. Patients who are prone to altitude sickness are advised to bring along a Gamow bag, which is a portable pressure bag that can be inflated using a foot pump.


In general, people have varied susceptibility to attitude sickness. This usually occurs during rapid ascent & symptoms are known to manifest about 6-10 hours after ascent & can possibly last for a day or two.


Unlike other medial conditions, AMS is quite easy to detect & does not require complex tests since diagnosis is largely based on the subject's symptoms. This includes severe headaches & vomiting in high altitudes.

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