| Working at High
The onset of mountain sickness can be sudden or gradual.
ascends to the summit of Mauna Kea feels it in the form of mild
headaches, shortage of breath, nausea, fatigue, loss of memory, lack of
concentration, lack of appetite and inablility to get to sleep. While
these symptoms never go away they will become lighter as the body
adjusts itself to the lower levels of oxygen present in the air at high
altitudes. If a person is unlucky they can experience some of the more
severe symptoms, some of which include death from fluid buildup in the
lungs and brain. The only cure for mountain sickness an immediate
descent to sea level.
To prevent loss of life due to altitude
sickness, telescope personal have been trained to spot the more severe
symptoms and have the athority to remove an observer from the
summit. While they may catch some cases of mountain sickness before
result in death they cannot catch them all and it is the observer's job
to be well informed of the symptoms and safe ways of alleviating them
they can stay through their run. Also the observer should be aware of
the symptoms which may signal a turn for the worse so they can inform
somebody and get off the summit safely.
The articles below should
answer most of the queries you may have about mountain sickness and how
to avoid some of the more severe symptoms. If you have questions or
suggestions email Liz
The Keck observatory too has put together some information about
sickness. They bring up hypoxia, the deficience of oxygen in the air,
explain how the symptoms of hypoxia can lead to AMS. Again this
is very relevent to the observers seeking to use CFH's telescope.
A collection of information about Diamox and other drugs used to
high altitude symptoms. This is a collection of letters and posts to
and is a little difficult to look through if you are trying to find one
thing. But it does contain information on how drugs like Diamox work to
prevent mountain sickness, in addition to discussions on ohter drug
Provides information on prevention, recognition, and treatment of
altitude illness, and other health issues affecting travelers to high
mountainous regions of the world.
An altitude tutorial :
Normal Acclimatization, Acute Mountain Sickness, High Altitude Cerebral
Edema, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, Treating AMS, Prevention, The