Types of Altitude Sickness You can Expect While Summiting Everest

Everest is the world’s peak. It stands tall at an altitude of 8,849 meters. Climbing such a high mountain is a huge risk. People even call the 8,000 meters altitude of the Everest region the death zone. The Everest summit is notorious for its avalanches and snowstorms. But apart from that, Everest also has several cases of serious altitude-related sickness. Apart from death by avalanches and falls, the 14.1% death rate on the Everest scale is because of sickness caused by the high altitude. 

Let us see what type of altitude sickness you can expect while summiting Everest. 

Acute Mountain Sickness(AMS)

It is the initial phase of altitude sickness. It is a very common occurrence while traveling from lower to higher elevations. It usually occurs when you pass over 2500 meters.  

AMS shows its symptoms within half a day or a day of reaching higher altitude places. AMS gets better with acclimatization and rest. The symptoms of AMS are very similar to dehydration symptoms. The major symptoms of it are headaches and difficulty in breathing. 

Everest region is at such a high altitude that the commencement of the journey itself is at 2860 meters. So, it is very likely that AMS can be seen in the initial phases of the Everest expedition

HAPE (High-altitude Pulmonary edema)

It is a second-level form of altitude sickness. It usually occurs due to the collection of extra fluid in the lungs. Such a condition will lead to difficulty in breathing. 

HAPE is a life-threatening condition. It is non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema. It occurs when you exceed 3500 meters. Furthermore, ignoring the symptoms of AMS may result in HAPE.

The occurrence of HAPE is the major cause of chronic altitude sickness.HAPE is likely to occur during the Mount Everest ascent even before you reach the Everest Base Camp. 

HACE (High-altitude cerebral edema)

HACE is related to HAPE. HACE is an occurrence of fluid in the brain, whereas HAPE is an occurrence of fluid in the lungs. It causes leaky capillaries in the brain, resulting in fluid accumulation and brain swelling.

The worst form of altitude sickness is High Altitude Cerebral Edema. It is a type of altitude sickness that occurs at altitudes above 6000 meters. HACE is very likely to occur in the Everest expedition as it requires gaining 8,849 meters in height. HACE is the leading cause of lapse to coma, sudden death, and other altitude-related death in the Everest expedition. It can happen in lower elevations if you are unaware of the symptoms of AMS and HAPE.

Dangers of all these altitude sicknesses are likely at the Everest summit. 

But only AMS or minute cases of HAPE will occur in the Everest Base Camp trek. This is because the highest point of the EBC trek is at Kala Patthar at 5,644 meters. 

You can see the wonderful Everest regions by trekking to the base camp and Kala Patthar. The Everest region experience can be immaculate without having to scale it. Everest Base camp trek mitigates the life-threatening dangers of altitude sickness. 

If you wish to do such a trek, then book your trek at Exciting Nepal. Let us hike the EBC together.