Daocheng Travel HealthTravel Health
Make sure you are healthy before you start travelling. If you are going on a long trip make sure your teeth are OK.If you wear glasses, take a spare pair and your prescription. If you require an articular medication take an adequate supply, as it may not be available locally. It`s good to have a legible prescription orletter from your doctor to show that you legally use the medication to avoid any problems.
Lack of oxygen at high altitudes (over 2500 m) affects most people to some extent. The effect may be mild or severe and occurs because less oxygen reaches the muscles and the brain at high altitude,requiring the heart and lungs to compensate by working harder. Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is common at high altitudes, and depends on the elevation, the rates of ascent and individual susceptibility. The major risk factor in AMS is the speed with which you make your ascent. Any traveller who flies into Lhasa, which is at just over 3600m, is likely to experience some symptoms of AMS. Youshould take care to acclimatise slowly and take things easy for the first couple of days.AMS has been fatal at 3000 m, although 3500 m to 4500m is the usual range.
Mild symptoms of AMS are very common in travellers to high altitudes, and usually develop during the first 24 hours at altitude. Most visitors to Tibet will suffer from at least some symptoms that will generally disappear through acclimatisation in several hours to several days.Symptoms tend to be worse at night and include headache, dizzines, lethargy, loss of appetite, nausea, breathlessness and irritability. Difficulty sleeping is another common symptom, and many travellers have trouble sleeping for the first few days after arriving in Lhasa. AMS may become more serious without warning and can be fatal.Symptoms are caused by the accmumulation of fluid in the lungs and brain, and include breathlessness at rest, a dry irritative cough (which may progress to the production of pink, frothy sputum), severe headche, lack of coordination (typically leading to a drunken walk), these signs should be taken very seriously.
The best prevention of AMS is to avoid rapid ascents to high altitudes. If you fly or bus to Lhasa, take it easy for at least three days. Within a week you should be ready for something a bit more adventurous, but do not push your self to do anything that you are not comfortable with.
To prevent acute mountain sickness:
Drink extra fluids.
Eat light, high-carbohydrate meals for more energy.
Avoid alcohol as it may increase the risk of dehydration and do not smoke.
Don`t push yourself when climbing up to passes, rather take plenty of breaks; you can usually get over the passes as easily tomorrow as you can today.
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