Actually all travellers will get AMS in Tibet, but only around 5-10% might get serious symptomes, and our tours have bottled oxygen equiped in the vehicle, travellers will be ok with it. Having a good mood, drink more water, take good rest, all these will help you to acclimatize it. Do not take it too serious.
Do not take info from travel agents seriously. There is no natural law that everyone will get AMS in Tibet or elsewhere in the Himalayas . Getting AMS is the result of ignoring guidelines , going too high , too fast. Drinking extra water does not protect against edema , and can give exactly the same symptoms as severe altitude sickness - there are some documented deaths.
As a local operator, i think everything we said are based on our year's of travel operation in Tibet area, and our dates are from our travel groups, i agree that AMS might caused by ignoring guidelines , going too high , too fast. Drinking extra water does not protect against edema, BUT one more thing is that----people's physical condition is also a factor of AMS, and some people might get serious symptomes but that is only less than 4%, and serious symptomes does not mean death, i think the death rate is really really low comparing to the annual traveller's quatity, probably 1 in 30000. Following the instructions and prepare with oxygen in the vehicle will greatly help visitors to acclimatize. It is not that a big thing to travel Tibet, just remember some simple ways-----1) do some excises like building climbing or mountain climbing at home 2) take some AMS pills beforehand 3) keep good mood in Tibet and drink more water 4) Stay in Lhasa for at least 2-4 nights before heading to higher place 5) Take good rest and do not do fierce excises like running in Tibet, slow walk is advisable 6) Take good rest 8) Have oxygen bottle in the hotel room and in the vehicle 7) Make sure you have the guide's phone number in case you need any asssitance 8) Dress warmly and do not get cold or cough in Tibet 9) If you feel not able to do the trip, do not hesitate to cancel it and fly to lower city. Travelling Tibet can be difficult to certain people, but once these are done, you will not fear of AMS at all, do not let AMS beat you down.
"As a local operator, i think everything we said are based on our year's of travel operation in Tibet area.."
As opposed to the decades of experience AND research from the docs of the Himalayan Rescue Association , the evidence based guidelines from WMS , the Chinese docs in charge of the medical program during the construction of the railway to Lhasa , surveys of hundreds to thousands of people flying in to Lhasa or Cusco etc :
Arguing that "real life experience" as a travel operator gives better insights than experienced docs in the field is like arguing on the principles of diving medicine with the diving instructor who also is a doc. Or that a experienced driver can replace the ambulance and ER staff in a traffic accident.
Unproven or contrafactual advice : fitness and exercise protects against AMS , high water intake protects against AMS ( again , there are documented deaths in hyponatremia) , "good mood " - no comment . Plenty of sources and evidence in the links already provided.
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