What causes high altitude sickness

What causes high altitude sickness?

Cerebral hypoxia results from the lower partial pressure of oxygen at high altitudes.

A shift of water and sodium into neurons may also occur as the result of the failure of glycolysis-dependent cellular enzymes and transporters, such as the Na /K pump.

Exercise in the cold temperatures encountered at high altitude worsens cerebral edema by further increasing cerebral blood flow.

How is it treated? 

Treatment prophylactically with dexamethasone will prevent most cases of acute mountain sickness.

The use of high pressure oxygen, removal to lower altitudes, and acetazolamide therapy may reduce symptoms in patients with preexisting high-altitude sickness.


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