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Ophthalmology. 1986 May;93(5):642-5.

Air travel and intraocular gas.


The safety of air travel for persons with intraocular gas after ocular surgery has been in question since the mid 1970s, when the use of intraocular gases after vitrectomy became widespread. After vitrectomy, air-fluid exchange was performed on six Rhesus monkeys. During simulated air travel in an altitude chamber, intraocular pressure rose an average of 42 mmHg with intraocular air volumes as small as 0.25 cc. Hypotony was observed after return to ground level in all cases. Transient central retinal artery occlusion and pupillary block was observed. Patient safety and comfort is endangered during air travel with very small volumes of intraocular gas.

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