Getting a cold can be a minor ailment if you are in major cities located in lowlands, where your bodies are able to make adjustments easier within less harsh environment and you can get relatively better medical help in time. But if you are traveling in Tibet, suffering from a cold can make your scheduled trip from dangerous or even to impossible.
There are two main reasons for which you should consider postponing your trip to Tibet for your health and safety.
First, cold viruses can damage your mucous membranes of your noses, eyes, or mouth, and lead to respiratory troubles. When you have a cold, your body’s resistivity drop and your immune system will also be infected, which makes you less physically fit to adapt to the high altitude.
Secondly, you may have a fever after catching a gold and your body temperature will be higher which results in more oxygen consumption, and the fact that the air in Tibet contains less concentration of oxygen makes you suffer even more.
We have known some extreme cases that tourists with serious cold end up with pulmonary edema which can be deadly in the plateau area. We hope you would always put your health as the priority and take this seriously.
It is imperative to always keeping yourself warm enough by wearing appropriately. However sometimes you just get ill by being infected from viruses. If you get a cold before your trip, take professional treatment from your doctor and try to get recovered before entering Tibet. If you are still not well before leaving for the plateau, you should consider postponing the trip. The other common situation is that you get a cold while you are already in Tibet. It’s believed that many Tibetan doctors are very experienced in curing this decease. So please seek the medical help if you can. But if you are in some remote area with limited medical service, please end your trip immediately and ask assistance from your guide or travel partner.
1) Pack some medicines for cold under the instruction of your GP and pharmacist.
2) Dress appropriately. It’s believed that loosen-fit lightweight clothing is better than tight clothing to keep warm. A hat or beanie is very helpful as there is research showing that 10% of body heat loss is from head part. A coat with wind proof or water proof function is also an ideal choice. Scarf or neckerchief, gloves, mountain shoes, extra socks should also be considered.
3) It is rarely known but true that, young people are more likely to suffer from serious complications of cold or altitude sickness. Because they tend to have more confidence in their physicality and when they even feel not 100% well, they tend to continue their trip. Please do not push yourselves and risk your safety.
Note: For seniors or those with chronic diseases, a physical check before booking Tibet tours is a wise action to take. And please never ignore the importance to take advice from your doctor.