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About altitude sickness
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can occur when ascending to high elevations above 8,000 feet (2,438 meters). At such heights, the air becomes thinner, reducing oxygen levels, affecting your body's ability to function optimally. It can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. However, some factors can increase the risk of developing AMS, including rapid ascent, inadequate acclimatisation, and individual susceptibility. Recognising the symptoms promptly and taking appropriate action to avoid further complications is crucial.
Symptoms of altitude sickness include:
Nausea or vomiting
Fatigue or weakness
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Shortness of breath
How this service works
Before embarking on your high-altitude adventure, it's essential to be well-prepared. Our service begins with a comprehensive pre-travel consultation, during which our healthcare experts will:
Review Your Medical History
We will send you a link in your booking confirmation email to complete a patient questionnaire and provide relevant details about your medical history to identify any pre-existing conditions that may increase the risk of altitude sickness.
Assess Your Fitness Level
Our qualified prescribers will thoroughly review your information. They will contact you to assess your fitness levels. Understanding your fitness level helps us tailor our recommendations to your needs.
Provide Altitude Sickness Education
Our prescribers will educate you about altitude sickness, its symptoms, and risk factors to ensure you are aware and prepared. Where appropriate, they will recommend suitable treatment options tailored to your needs. If our prescribers determine that a prescription is necessary, we will issue it electronically and send it to one of our branches for you to collect. You can also have this sent to another pharmacy of your choice. You will need to pay for the medication prescribed when you collect it.
Available service option
£25 per patient
Don't let altitude sickness spoil your adventure – Seek the right care to make the most of your trip!
How to prevent and manage altitude sickness
While it's impossible to predict how your body will react to high altitudes, there are several steps you can take to minimise the risk and severity of altitude sickness:
Whenever possible, try to ascend to higher altitudes gradually. This allows your body time to acclimate to the changing conditions and reduces the chances of developing AMS.
Proper hydration is essential at higher altitudes. Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.
Maintain a balanced diet and consume foods rich in carbohydrates to provide your body with the necessary energy.
Rest and Sleep
Allow your body sufficient time to rest and sleep, especially during the initial days of your ascent.
With our altitude sickness treatment service, we may sometimes recommend altitude sickness medications to support acclimatisation. We will provide detailed instructions for their safe use.
When to seek medical attention
While most cases of altitude sickness are mild and resolve with adequate rest and acclimatisation, severe AMS can be life-threatening. It's crucial to be aware of the signs of severe altitude sickness, which may include:
Inability to walk or maintain balance
Confusion or altered mental state
Chest tightness or congestion
Coughing up pink or white frothy sputum
If you or someone in your group experiences these severe symptoms, immediately descend to a lower altitude and seek medical attention.
Plan your journey with confidence
At Midway Pharmacy, we believe that exploring high-altitude destinations should be an unforgettable experience, free from the worries of altitude sickness. With our Altitude Sickness Treatment Service, you can confidently plan your journey, knowing that you have a dedicated team of healthcare professionals available to provide the necessary advice and support.
What our customers think
5 out of 5 stars
The Pharmacist who checked my BP was friendly and helpful and answered a query. It only took a few moments to check.
5 out of 5 stars
Thank you so much you did great would recommend to anyone.keep up the good professional work.
5 out of 5 stars
Excellent service definitely would recommend, managed to get me appointment same day young lady was so professional in explaining and carrying out the treatment, feeling much better now, thank you.
5 out of 5 stars
Excellent service received at Midway pharmacy Middleton Leeds yesterday both ears were totally blocked and the young girl that performed the syringing was friendly and explained what was happening clearly and efficiently all done in 10 minutes can hear again now fantastic!
Frequently asked questions
Are next-day appointments available?
Yes, you can get next-day appointments at all our branches. Contact our customer care team if you cannot find an available slot.
Where is this service available?
This service is available in our branches, which are commutable from anywhere in Yorkshire, including Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, York, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Barnsley, Hull, Doncaster, Ripon, Harrogate, Dewsbury, Keighley and Scarborough.
Can altitude sickness occur in the UK?
Although the UK is not known for extreme heights, it is still possible to experience mild altitude sickness at higher elevations, such as in mountainous regions like the Scottish Highlands or the Snowdonia National Park.
Who is at a higher risk of experiencing altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. However, those who have previously experienced altitude sickness, individuals with respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, and pregnant women may be at a higher risk. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before undertaking any high-altitude activities.
Are there any medications to prevent or treat altitude sickness?
Some medications, like acetazolamide, may be prescribed to prevent or alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. However, these should only be used under medical supervision. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with mild symptoms such as headaches.
Can children experience altitude sickness?
Yes, children can experience altitude sickness, just like adults. Parents should pay close attention to their children's behaviour and look for symptoms of altitude sickness if travelling to higher elevations.
Can altitude sickness be dangerous?
While altitude sickness is generally milder at lower elevations, it can become dangerous if left untreated or ignored. Severe cases can lead to life-threatening conditions such as high-altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) or high-altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE).
Can I participate in high-altitude activities if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions should consult their healthcare provider before engaging in high-altitude activities. Depending on the condition, they may need to take extra precautions or avoid such activities altogether. Safety should always be a priority.
Next-day appointments are available at our branches.