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High-altitude climbs may cause corneal swelling, but do not appear to affect vision
Date:2/8/2010

ls' higher overall susceptibility to inadequate oxygen supplies.

The exact cause of corneal swelling during ascent remains controversial, the authors note. The current findings suggest that the body's delivery of oxygen to the aqueous humorthe fluid inside the eyeball, between the cornea and irismay be more important in corneal oxygen levels than previously thought.

"It seems that visual acuity in healthy corneas is not adversely affected despite the presence of edema at altitudes up to 6,300 meters," the authors conclude. However, it is likely that ascents to more extreme altitudesabove 8,000 meters or about 26,000 feetmay induce greater damage to the cornea and lead to dangerous visual loss.


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Contact: Martina Monika Bosch, M.D.
martina.boesch@usz.ch
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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