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Intraocular gas and low-altitude air flight.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Air travel has been contraindicated for patients with intraocular gas on the basis of experimental studies, because of the risk of elevated intraocular pressure during atmospheric depressurization.
METHODS
A clinical study of gas bubble volume and intraocular pressure rise during a low-altitude air flight was performed on a patient with a gas bubble volume of 65% after retinal detachment surgery.
RESULTS
The flight was well tolerated, and the patient did not experience pain or decreased vision. The maximum altitude of the flight was 3,000. Maximum intraocular pressure was 49 mmHg, with a baseline of 16 mmHg. Increases in intraocular pressure and bubble volume were instantaneous with changes in altitude. Implications for pressurized flight situations are discussed.
CONCLUSION
Low-altitude air flight can be well tolerated by patients with intraocular gas, even with a relatively large vitreous cavity gas fill. Decisions about when to let patients with intraocular gas fly should be made on an case-to-case basis, depending on ocular factors and the planned flight characteristics.

Links

  • Aggregator Full Text
  • Authors

    Kokame GT, Ing MR

    Source

    Retina (Philadelphia, Pa.) 14:4 1994 pg 356-8

    MeSH

    Aerospace Medicine
    Aged
    Altitude
    Atmospheric Pressure
    Fluorocarbons
    Humans
    Intraocular Pressure
    Male
    Ocular Hypertension
    Retinal Detachment

    Pub Type(s)

    Case Reports
    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    7817030