Everest Region Altitude Sickness: Recognizing Symptoms and Tips for Prevention

Trekking to the Everest region is not an easy thing to do. You must have an adequate level of fitness and proper knowledge about the region. However, one must be just as aware of what may come their way healthwise when they are looking to go on even Everest base camp trek. Regardless of the length of the trekking journey, caution and properly studying all the health hazards become mandatory for every other trekker. Everest region is not quite the best place for one to be too comfortable with his health since it is located at one of the highest altitudes in the world which increases the likelihood of trekkers getting sick and suffocating between or after their journey.

There sure are many ways to avoid altitude sickness when on a trekking trip to Everest. It becomes just as important to recognize the symptoms of the sickness and make sure that you take prevention tips for the same. Make sure to read till the end of this article to know more!

What is altitude sickness?

The thickness of the air is not the same at every other altitude. The density of the air and the temperature of a specific location is likely to be the judge of whether you will suffer from altitude sickness or not. When you are going to a high-altitude location, the air is thin, hence, it becomes impossible for you to breathe as comfortably as you can in lower altitudes. This does not necessarily mean that you are going to suffocate when at a higher altitude because everything that happens during a trekking journey depends on how a person prepares himself and the habit he has of accommodating to different altitudes.

Altitude sickness can even be lethal if one fails to take good care of himself when he sees the earlier signs. This condition might be hard to spot for many and can be mistaken for milder and temporary suffocation due to changing altitudes. Hence, it becomes necessary for trekkers to take good care of their oxygen level while they are trekking through higher altitudes. Though not necessarily avoidable, altitude sickness is completely preventable and curable when the right tips and tricks are followed.

How to recognize symptoms of altitude sickness when in the Everest region?

Though it may not seem as simple for one to recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness, you can keep in mind some points that will help you get through the toughest of situations by remaining cautious and careful. The symptoms of altitude sickness may seep in without any warning causing the victim to panic and become all the more anxious. You can, however, keep yourself as calm as possible, when you recognize the symptoms since you can just as well fix them with preventive measures.

That being said, some ways that you can recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness in the Everest region are as follows:

Early symptoms

A normal healthy person is not going to face as many negative situations healthwise regardless of where he is or how much trekking he has done in a day. Therefore, as soon as he starts getting the symptoms of headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and insomnia, then it can be confirmed that he is going to suffer greatly from altitude sickness if he does not take care of his condition immediately.

Guidance and general education

While it is impossible to get as much knowledge as a trekking guide or a trained trekker, it is always possible for you to consult with professionals when you start experiencing the earliest signs of altitude sickness. General education can also be sought on the way, meaning, you can ask them for advice. If possible and only if you are in a sounder condition, you can search for articles on the internet or get extra knowledge from pamphlets or magazines related to trekker’s health that are available to you.

Continuous monitoring

You can also recognize the early symptoms of altitude sickness by monitoring your health frequently. Your health is your wealth and not keeping a check of it might mean that you are going to suffer in the long run. Trekking guides are the best people to rely on while trying to monitor one’s health during a trekking journey. Based on their judgment, you can decide whether you are good to keep going through the journey, acclimatizing a bit more, or simply concluding the trek and descending.

How can trekkers prepare themselves for altitude sickness prevention in the Everest region?

It is extremely important for every single trekker going to the Everest region to remain as cautious as possible when they are going to the Everest region. It is no joke for anyone to prevent something so critically dangerous without remaining extra careful at the moves they make and the decisions they make during their journey.

Some of the most crucial tips that work like miracles without taking much effort from the trekkers are as follows:

Frequent acclimatization

Not acclimating your body enough can cause you to suffer from altitude sickness. You may be as cautious as possible and still become a victim of altitude sickness when you are reckless during your journey. Acclimatization means that you are resting your body adequately while not forcing it to quickly habituate itself to the changing altitudes. Frequent acclimatization leads your body to slowly yet effectively adjust to the surroundings and growing altitude.

Nutrition and hydration

You have to keep yourself as full as possible, but not to the extent that you feel all stuffy and find it inconvenient to go across a certain distance upwards. Trekkers should learn about moderation. They should either go extreme on eating too much or rely on a smaller amount of food. As a trekker, you need good nutrition in moderation and proper hydration to remain active. Keeping a small snack and a big enough water bottle with you is mandatory as a trekker, especially when you are going on a trek as tough as that in the Everest region.

Health consultation before the trek

Taking a health consultation before you start a trek is very important. You may or may not have the likelihood to suffer from altitude sickness, but neglecting your health before starting the trekking journey can lead to tough circumstances that you would rather want to avoid. Trekkers can best consult with health experts who have had patients who were also trekkers. Otherwise, going to any health consultant with a fair amount of expertise will do.

Preparation for emergencies

A trekker must always keep himself prepared for emergencies. You can never predict whether the pathway to the Everest base camp or Everest circuit trek is going to be as easy or convenient as you may have thought. More times than not, it is always tougher for one to complete a journey than one may think. Carrying enough supplies to cater to one’s sound health, hygiene, and even spare time is necessary. Moreover, it is always better for you to carry extra cash to ensure that you are going to have an easier time if you ever need additional services or equipment/buyable stuff on your way.

Research on altitude sickness

Research is more necessary than you may think. Doing a fair bit of research on altitude sickness and all the possible dangers related to respiratory health in a high-altitude region is going to keep your body as comfortable and convenient as possible. Researching means that you learn what you should and should not do.

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Customize itineraries

Not every trekker is going to find it easy to go through what is considered a normal or the most basic route. Hence, one must choose a reliable trekking agency that is going to help them customize itineraries. Customizing itineraries means that you have it easy when it comes to finding the best pathways that best suit your physical and mental condition and expertise as a trekker.

Proactive tactics

A trekker cannot completely avoid a situation that he is already in. Therefore, the only way he can ease up his health condition is by taking proactive tactics to heal himself. Since altitude is the main reason for altitude sickness, getting rid of the extra altitude will help one a great deal. Two of the most common conditions that you will suffer if you don’t readily take proactive tactics are High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).


Trekkers should always be prepared for what may come their way during a trekking journey. Destinations like the Everest region are not half as easy as the locations with lower altitudes. Even the Everest base camp short trek is going to prove to be a tough journey if you don’t prepare yourself both mentally and physically for it. Though not possible to avoid and cut off the chances of occurring immediately, altitude sickness can be avoided with the help of proper precautions and advice from the experts.

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