Mountain Sickness Mountain Sickness
Wikipedia—The Free Encyclopedia
ALTITUDE SICKNESS, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche, is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet). ACUTE MOUNTARIN SICKNESS can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). THE CAUSES OF ALTITUTE SICKNESS are not fully understood. The percentage of oxygen in air, at 21%, remains almost unchanged up to 70,000 feet (21,000 m). The RMS velocities of diatomic nitrogen and oxygen are very similar and thus no change occurs in the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen. CHRONIC MOUNTAIN SICKESS, also known as MONGE’S DISEASE, is a different condition that only occurs after very prolonged exposure to high altitude. DEHYDRATION due to the higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs at higher altitudes may contribute to the symptoms of altitude sickness.