Plateau Tourism-Altitude Sickness You Have to Know

The magnificence of the plateau region attracts more and more tourists from all over the world.

Daocheng Aden, Shangri-La, G318 National Highway with mysterious and magnificent scenery, let cyclists, hikers, or self-driving [hikers] linger on…

Altitude sickness is a problem that must be paid attention to before you are eager to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the plateau.

Is what altitude sickness?

Mountain Sickness refers to the syndrome mainly caused by lung and brain dysfunction when people enter the plateau and do not adapt to the hypoxia environment at high altitude.

Investigate its reason, Because the plateau air is thin, In the same breathing state as in plain areas, Relatively little oxygen is available. Of course, When our bodies begin to enter the plateau environment, It takes time to adjust to the plateau environment, but the adjustment process can be adjusted to different limits. When the body is unable to adapt to the plateau environment, [headache] will occur, and a series of symptoms will follow: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, chest tightness, weakness, insomnia and so on: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, chest tightness, weakness, insomnia and so on.

The fatter you are, the more prone you are to altitude sickness?

It is often said that [people who are usually healthier are more prone to altitude sickness], which is too general. The occurrence and severity of altitude sickness are related to many factors, which cannot be summarized by [healthy] or [unhealthy].

Rising speed

As mentioned earlier, it takes time for the human body to adapt to the plateau environment, so the transportation mode with faster rising speed is more likely to cause altitude sickness. For example, flying to Lhasa is relatively more likely to cause altitude sickness than taking the train.

Living elevation

People who live at low altitudes for a long time are more likely to have altitude sickness. For example, people who live in Kunming for a long time are more tolerant of altitude sickness than people who live in Xiamen for a long time.

Age, Sex

Different from what we thought, the relationship between age and sex and altitude sickness is not obvious. And some studies have shown that young people are at greater risk of altitude sickness than older people.

The effects of the disease

People with respiratory diseases, especially those with abnormal lung function, should be more vigilant when traveling to the plateau.

Severe heart failure, anemia and other diseases have very poor tolerance to hypoxia on the plateau. If you have to go to the plateau area, you need to plan in detail and listen to the opinions of professional doctors.

For chronic, asymptomatic and well-controlled diseases in daily life, such as diabetes, hypertension and well-controlled coronary heart disease, the chance of altitude sickness is not significantly different from that of others.

In addition, obese people are also more prone to altitude sickness than ordinary people.

Plateau experience

For those who have traveled and worked on the plateau, if altitude sickness has not occurred before, the possibility of recurrence is also small. However, if mild or severe altitude sickness has occurred, such as headache, nausea and vomiting, the possibility of recurrence of altitude sickness is large. If you have to go to the plateau again, you need to be vigilant and fully prepared.

Activity Type

Strenuous exercises such as riding are more likely to have corresponding symptoms. When entering the plateau, attention should be paid to avoid strenuous exercises such as running.

Can altitude sickness be prevented?

There is no what measure to ensure that you will not suffer from altitude sickness 100%, but we can take some measures to help your body adapt to the altitude environment and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

Measures before entering the plateau

Physical examination

Personalized physical examination can be carried out. General physical examination includes nervous system, respiratory system and cardiovascular system.

You can go to respiratory department and neurology department to see a doctor and prescribe some drugs (some drugs are lacking in plateau areas) for emergencies. For example, acetazolamide and hydroxydiazepam can effectively reduce sleep respiratory disorders at high altitude. Aspirin and acetaminophen can prevent high altitude headache.

For patients with basic diseases, it is recommended to consult a specialist before departure whether drug adjustment is needed.


People with exercise habits should also maintain their own exercise habits before entering the plateau. For those who do not have exercise habits, it is recommended to take appropriate physical exercise before entering the plateau.


For example, climbing another mountain 3,000 meters above sea level before climbing a mountain 4,000 meters above sea level [pre-adaptation], or taking a moderate way to rise, such as riding, driving or train instead of flying to travel, can help adapt and relieve symptoms.

After entering the plateau:

    Avoid strenuous exercise, Standards vary from person to person, For example, the author once rode safely in Dongda Mountain at an altitude of 5,000 meters for 8 hours a day, But for people who have no sports experience, it is very dangerous. Pay attention to keeping warm, because the altitude is higher, the plateau area is relatively cold, need to pay attention to keeping warm, clothes should be more than less. Rest more, maintain enough sleep. Drink more water, ensure sufficient liquid intake. Just enter the plateau area in the first few days, avoid drinking.

Do what you can, don’t [fight]

If altitude sickness can be treated in time, it will be fine, but if it persists in [hard resistance], once serious complications occur, it may cause serious consequences.

  1. If symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection such as colds occur before entering the plateau, it is recommended to travel to the plateau area after recovery.

  2. In case of headache, nausea, vomiting, palpitation, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other symptoms on the plateau, please rest and inhale oxygen in time. If the symptoms do not improve after rest and inhalation, or cyanosis of lips and lips occurs, please go to the nearest hospital for emergency treatment immediately.

I hope everyone can go prepared and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the plateau. However, we should also do what we can and do not affect our health. The loss outweights the gain.

Responsible Editor: Zhang Jingyuan