I believe that most of the tourists who are planning a travel to Tibet have considered this question. How to deal with the high-altitude sickness? Well, don’t be freaked out by high altitude sickness. It can be avoided and cured if you follow a proper guidance.
Firstly, let us know what is high altitude sickness exactly.
When people suddenly reach a place with an elevation of 3,000 meters (9850 feet) and up, they might get a common physiological reaction, which is caused by acute exposure to the low air pressure. Because the oxygen content of the air is usually low and the weather is extremely dry.
What are symptoms of high altitude sickness?
The most common symptoms are a headache, faster heart beating, shortness of breath, lack of appetite, thirst, dizziness, fatigue or weakness, insomnia, etc. Usually, the symptoms will disappear in a few hours or days per individual’s body condition. But after 1 or 2 days’ acclimation, most of the travelers can get used to the local environment. So, 2-3 days’ acclimation is very important for travelers when traveling from Lhasa to other higher places in Tibet.
How to deal with high altitude sickness when traveling to Tibet?
1. Overcome the fear of the altitude sickness. Take it easy and try to keep a good mood and body condition before traveling to Tibet.
2. Try to do nothing but rest in the hotel when arriving in Tibet on the first day. Do not drink alcohol. Do not bath. Wear enough clothes in case of catching a cold which will cause you get altitude sickness easily.
3. The tour arrangement of the first 2-3 days should not be too much. Sightseeing should be the main activity. You should give your body enough time to adapt to the sudden change of altitude before heading to the next higher destination.
4. Try to eat the food which is easy to digest. Drink more water to resist the dry weather. Don’t eat too much before going to bed. Eating some vitamin-rich fruit and vegetable is also useful for the resistance to altitude sickness.
5. Do not eat food bought from the street vendors. Otherwise, gastrointestinal disorders might visit you and spoil your trip.
6. Always pay attention to the weather change. The temperature of Tibet has a big difference between daytime and night. You should prepare enough warm clothes when it becomes cold. A report shows that the temperature would drop six degrees Celsius when the elevation increases every 1000 meters.
7. In addition to the normal medications, it is advisable to bring high altitude medication. Seek suggestions from your doctor before traveling to Tibet. Take Nifedipine, Nuodikang Capsules and Suoluomabao Capsules (known as Hongjingtian Capsules in Chinese) three days before tour starts may help some people prevent the occurrence of altitude sickness.
Note: If you take Acetazolamide (Diamox), please remember to drink enough water. Otherwise, you may get serious dehydration, which can worsen AHAD.
8. Tell your guide quickly if you don’t feel well when traveling in Tibet and follow the guide’s advice.
9. Other than that, Sunscreen, sunglasses, lip creams are recommended to protect your eyes and skin because the solar radiation strikes the earth with unusual intensity due to the high altitude and the thin atmosphere in Tibet.