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Sometimes called “mountain sickness,” altitude sickness is a group of symptoms that can strike if you walk or climb to a higher elevation, or altitude, too quickly.

Why It Happens

The pressure of the air that surrounds you is called barometric pressure. When you go to higher altitudes, this pressure drops and there is less oxygen available.If you live in a place that’s located at a moderately high altitude, you get used to the air pressure. But if you travel to a place at a higher altitude than you’re used to, your body will need time to adjust to the change in pressure.Any time you go above 8,000 feet, you can be at risk for altitude sickness.