Altitude Sickness / Soroche

Altitude sickness (Soroche), the mildest form of acute mountain sickness, is the negative health effect of high altitude, caused by exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. Symptoms include headaches, vomiting, tiredness and dizziness.

If it comes up, it usually occurs above 2500m (8,000ft.)

When you arrive in Quito, already at 2850m (9350ft.), give yourself a little acclimatization for a few days.

Take light walks, keep it slow, stay hydrated!

Then you can proceed for hikes at higher altitudes.


Symptoms might include:

Gastrointestinal – Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting, excessive flatulation[10]
Nervous – Fatigue or weakness, headache with or without dizziness or lightheadedness, insomnia, “pins and needles” sensation
Locomotory – Peripheral edema (swelling of hands, feet, and face)
Respiratory – Nose bleeding, shortness of breath upon exertion
Cardiovascular – Persistent rapid pulse
Other – General malaise

Symptoms that may indicate life-threatening altitude sickness include:

Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
Symptoms similar to bronchitis
Persistent dry cough
Shortness of breath even when resting
Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)
Headache that does not respond to analgesics
Unsteady gait
Gradual loss of consciousness
Increased nausea and vomiting
Retinal hemorrhage

But always remember: When you feel any severe symptoms of altitude sickness, immediately descend!

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