Font Size
A
A
A

Mountain Sickness (cont.)

What are the early signs and symptoms of altitude sickness?

Early symptoms of acute mountain sickness are usually the following:

However, acute mountain sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms:

What are the late symptoms of acute mountain sickness?

Late symptoms of acute altitude sickness include:

  • Swelling of extremities (late symptom)
  • Social withdrawal (late symptom)

People with acute mountain 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.

What are the signs and symptoms of high-altitude pulmonary edema?

High-altitude pulmonary edema, an advanced form of altitude sickness, causes the following progression of symptoms to develop. The person may have:

  • Several of the acute mountain sickness symptoms develop slowly or rapidly (early symptoms)
  • Shortness of breath at rest (early symptom)
  • Gurgling respirations
  • A wet cough with frothy sputum
  • A fever
  • Respiratory failure (late symptom)

The onset of high-altitude pulmonary edema can be gradual or sudden. High-altitude pulmonary edema typically occurs after more than one day spent at high altitude. High-altitude pulmonary edema requires immediate treatment.

What are the signs and symptoms of high-altitude cerebral edema?

High-altitude cerebral edema produces symptoms that can become progressively worse over a short time period.

  • Any acute mountain sickness or high-altitude pulmonary edema symptoms (early symptoms)
  • confusion (early symptom)
  • Cannot do usual functions (hiking, skiing, for example) because of fatigue or shortness of breath
  • Walking and coordination become impaired.
  • As the brain continues to swell, lethargy and then coma will develop (late symptoms).
  • If left untreated, high-altitude cerebral edema will ultimately result in death.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2015

Must Read Articles Related to Mountain Sickness

Dizziness
Dizziness Dizziness may be a minor problem, or could be something life-threatening. Causes of dizziness include high blood pressure, low blood pressure, heart problems, ...learn more >>
Edema
Edema Edema, or the abnormal accumulation of fluid in tissues in the body can be caused by several factors. Treatment of edema depends on the cause of the edema.learn more >>
Fatigue
Fatigue Fatigue is a common health complaint by individuals. Fatigue is also referred to as feeling weary, tired, exhausted, lethargic, and a lack of energy. There are ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Altitude Sickness (Mountain Sickness):

Altitude Sickness - Patient Experience

Please describe your experience with altitude sickness.

Altitude Sickness - Experience

Please share your experience with altitude sickness.

Altitude Sickness - Causes

If known, what caused your altitude sickness?

Altitude Sickness - Home Remedies

What home remedies help your altitude sickness?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Altitude-Related Disorders »

Mountains have fascinated and attracted humankind for millennia.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary