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Mountain Sickness (cont.)

Altitude Sickness Symptoms

Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms:

People with acute altitude sickness often attribute their symptoms to other causes such as an uncomfortable bed, bad food, or a hangover. However, it is important to recognize that these symptoms may indicate a high altitude illness.

pulmonary edema (HAPE), an advanced form of acute altitude sickness, causes the following progression of symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath at rest
  • Gurgling respirations
  • Wet cough with frothy sputum
  • Possible fever
  • Respiratory failure

Onset of HAPE can be gradual or sudden. HAPE typically occurs after more than one day spent at high altitude.

High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) can begin with confusion.

  • A person developing HACE begins having trouble keeping up with the group.
  • Next, walking and coordination become impaired.
  • As the brain continues to swell, lethargy and then coma will develop.
  • If left untreated, HACE will ultimately result in death.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2014
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