High altitude can be a hostile environment and a paradigm of how environmental factors can determine illness when human biological adaptability is exceeded. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of high-altitude sickness, including its epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatments. The first section of our work defines high altitude and considers the mechanisms of adaptation to it and the associated risk factors for low adaptability. The second section discusses the main high-altitude diseases, highlighting how environmental factors can lead to the loss of homeostasis, compromising important vital functions. Early recognition of clinical symptoms is important for the establishment of the correct therapy. The third section focuses on high-altitude pulmonary edema, which is one of the main high-altitude diseases. With a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of high-altitude diseases, as well as a reasoned approach to environmental or physical factors, we examine the main high-altitude diseases. Such an approach is critical for the effective treatment of patients in a hostile environment, or treatment in the emergency room after exposure to extreme physical or environmental factors.
Savioli, Gabriele;Ceresa, Iride Francesca;Gori, Giulia;Fumoso, Federica;Floris, Valentina;Ricevuti, Giovanni;Esposito, Ciro
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