Peru is one of the most popular vacation destinations. Its historical sites and beautiful scenery give tourists the chance to escape from the mundane and jump into an adventure. As beautiful as Peru is, there is one particular danger that tourists should be aware of while planning their Peruvian adventures. It is Altitude Sickness.
Altitude Sickness is an illness that occurs when the body is faced with a rapid change in altitude. So, as you are climbing the mountains, your body is trying to adjust to the decreasing oxygen levels. The higher you go, the less air your body is actually getting.
Symptoms include severe headache, loss of appetite, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and body weakness. However there are steps that can be taken in order to make sure your entire mountain climb is not spent battling the symptoms. Drinking water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine keeps the body going when the nausea begins to set in. Your heart rate increases as you climb to higher elevations, therefore your body is working harder and needs replenishment. Also, your body needs time to adjust to the altitude changes so it is important to take it slow as to not over exert yourself, which will bring on the symptoms of altitude sickness much faster.
- Ask your doctor about your physical condition before your trip plan.
- Ascending slowly is the best way to avoid Altitude Sickness.
- Avoiding strenuous activity such as skiing, hiking, etc. in the first 24 hours at high altitude reduces the symptoms of Altitude Sickness.
- Alcohol and sleeping pills are respiratory depressants, and thus slows down the acclimatization process and should be avoided. Alcohol also tends to cause dehydration and exacerbates Altitude Sickness. Thus, avoiding alcohol consumption in the first 24–48 hours at a higher altitude is optimal.
- Oxygen from gas bottles or liquid containers can be applied directly via a nasal cannula or mask. So Inka Way Travel guides have it to attend contingencies.
- Some climbers keep Powerade on hand because the carbs help reduce any body weakness and also replenishes any electrolytes lost if the climber experiences vomiting.
And of course, if all else fails and symptoms become too severe, it is time to seek medical assistance.