Ocular Problems in High-Altitude Traveling: A Review With Focus on Management

Document Type : Review Article


1 Health Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Cancer Research Center, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

3 Isfahan Eye Research Center, Department of Ophthalmology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Traveling to high altitudes can expose the eye to reduced ambient cold and low-pressure environments. These conditions can affect the physiology of the eye and may result in ocular problems and visual disturbances. In this paper, ocular disorders related to high altitudes are briefly reviewed. Then, high-altitude ocular disorders are categorized in three parts: those related to dry and cold environments, those related to low-pressure environments, and those in people with past ocular conditions. In every part, the signs and symptoms of related diseases are discussed. Up-to-date recommendations for the management and prevention of these disorders are presented. The main management for ocular disorders related to dry and cold environments includes the use of eye shields and artificial tear drops. Descending to low-altitude lands is the key to managing eye problems associated with low-pressure environments. Patients with past ocular problems or ocular surgery should consult their doctors before ascending to high altitudes.


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