When an individual experiences altitude sickness, nausea is considered an early symptom that commonly occurs. If an individual experiences nausea, it must be treated right away since if he/she continues to climb higher, it can drastically affect the health and can even lead to other complications.
First aid care for nausea for altitude sickness
If an individual suffers from nausea from altitude sickness, these are the first aid steps that you have to take into consideration.
- When climbing at elevated heights such as mountain trekking, always bring some dimenhydrinate. This is an over-the-counter medication that is used to fight motion sickness, but it is highly effective for general nausea.
- The individual must not proceed climbing if he/she experiences nausea due to altitude sickness. It is important that the individual must rest, hydrate and wait for recovery. Minor cases of altitude sickness can be effectively treated by resting and wait for the body to get accustomed to the present altitude before climbing higher.
- If the symptoms do not clear up, the individual must descend to a lower altitude. In most cases, getting back to lower ground will put a stop to the symptoms caused by altitude sickness. If the nausea is severe, the lower the individual should descend.
- The nausea can be treated by using medications as long as descending to a lesser altitude will not clear up the symptoms. In such instances, it is unreasonable to continue the climb to greater altitudes because the symptoms are just concealed by the medications but currently present in the body. Cases in which altitude sickness does not clear up must be taken seriously as nausea can indicate a more severe form of altitude sickness.
- Continue the climb once all the symptoms, not just nausea have cleared up completely. You should also treat the other common symptoms of altitude sickness such as headache, dizziness and fatigue by resting and seeking lower ground until they completely subside.
- The climb must be stopped if the nausea advances to the point of vomiting. Vomiting is regarded as a serious indication that a severe case of altitude sickness is developing. Medical care must be provided as soon as possible if the altitude sickness progresses to throwing up.
Important considerations to bear in mind
In most cases, many start to experience altitude sickness at a height of more than 8,000 feet or 2,400 meters. As long as that height is not exceeded, the nausea due to altitude sickness will not manifest.
Always remember that altitude sickness can eventually progress to a coma and result to swelling of the brain and lungs that can lead to death. Once an individual experiences the symptoms of altitude sickness aside from nausea, it is best to stop and rest for some time until the individual is acclimatized to the altitude.