Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, "The altitude bends", 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). It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can ascend to 2,400 metres (8,000 ft) without difficulty.
Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPO) or high altitude cerebral oedema (HACO), which are potentially fatal.
Chronic mountain sickness, also known as Monge's disease, is a different condition that only occurs after very prolonged exposure to high altitude.
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