Every traveller preparing to conquer high-altitude mountains should prepare for changes in the environment. Altitude sickness can affect each and every one of us, and it’s important to know how it affects our body. It’s necessary to understand how our body works and how to deal with the changes in pressure and the amount of oxygen we inhale. We wrote this article based on our own experiences during our visit to Peru and Bolivia. Read more and learn how to deal with altitude sickness.
It’s important to understand what is happening to our body when climbing to high altitudes. The atmospheric pressure and the partial pressure of oxygen decrease with increasing altitude. So, the human body actually receives less oxygen than usual with every breath. At the same time, the humidity in the air decreases, which can be a very unpleasant phenomenon and is called high altitude sickness. Our body reacts to oxygen deficiency by breathing faster and deeper, and if this condition persists, some chemical changes can gradually occur. The process of adapting can take up to several weeks. In general, it is necessary to gradually acclimate to an altitude above 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level. This is especially true for an altitude of up to 5,500 meters (18,000 feet) because at this altitude, breathing is accelerated even in a resting state, and the body may become damaged during a longer stay.