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do i have altitude sickness?
Prevention of Altitude Illnesses
The best way to reduce your chances of suffering from altitude illnesses is to ascend slowly, as this allows your body to acclimatise while climbing.

In addition to this it is important to not increase your sleeping height by more than 300m to 600m a night when climbing to altitudes greater than 3000m.

Furthermore, when climbing higher than 3000m take a rest day for every 1000m of elevation gained.

It is important to remember that, acclimatisation varies between individuals, so a flexible climbing itinerary must be used to make sure everyone is safe and healthy.

It is also possible to take some medication prior to ascending for people susceptible to AMS or if the rate of ascent is greater than recommended and although these could mask signs, a dosage of 250-500mg of acetazolamide twice a day has been seen to help prevent the symptoms of AMS.

Finally, although dehydration does not cause altitude illnesses, it is very important to remain hydrated throughout your climb to keep you healthy and avoid illness.


Barry, P.W. and Pollard, A.J. (2003) “Altitude illness”, British Medical Journal, 326(7395), pp.915-919.

Bezruchka, S. (2005) Altitude illness: Prevention & Treatment, Seattle: Mountaineers Books.

Luks, A.M., Auerbach, P.S., Freer, L., Grissom, C.K., Keyes, L.E., McIntosh, S.E., Rodway, G.W., Schoene, R.B., Zafren, K. and Hackett, P.H. (2019) “Wilderness Medical Society Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Altitude Illness: 2019 Update”, Wilderness & environmental medicine, 30(4), pp.3-18.