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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10608
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I was diagnosed with narrow angle glaucoma and I am concerned

Resolved Question:

I was diagnosed with narrow angle glaucoma and I am concerned that due to dry air and cabin pressure on a 9 hour flight I would have an attack. If an attack were to happen would there be time to get to a clinic after the flight or would it be too late to save my eyesight? Is there anything I can do beforehand to avoid the possibility of an acute closure during light.To be confined in a plane is worrisome enough and the possibility of loosing my eyesight would be terrible, I'm a photographer and rely on my eyesight.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

The dry air and cabin pressure will not increase your risk of having a narrow angle glaucoma attack so you can continue with your travel plans is peace.

I would,however, counsel you to go ahead with the laser peripheral iridotomy for your narrow angles. This is, in the scheme of things, a very, very safe procedure. Why is it that you are concerned with the sight risk of post laser angle closure (this has never happened in my over two decades of practice) and flashes of light.

If you would like to discuss these, and any other, post operative risks I would be happy to assist you.

So what is the take home message? Airplane travel will, in and of itself, not increase your risk of an angle closure attack.

Does this make sense to you?

It was a pleasure to assist you with your question. Please let me know if I can do anything else to help you in the future. Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.
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