• Are roller coasters safe for nearsighted people?

    I work at an amusement park that has two rides that put 3 to 4 Gs of force on the person. Is there an amount of nearsightedness that would deem someone unfit for this ride due to the risk of retinal detachment (when the light sensitive tissue peels off from the back of the eye)? Do you know of any research that has been done on this topic?

    It is unlikely that this would be a problem. Because of their structure, the eyes will automatically even out the pressure from that g-force. There would not be any extra strain on an eye that is nearsighted. There has been significant research on the effect of g-forces on the body as a whole — especially the brain. Studies have shown the brain's responses to sustained g-forces can include pooling of blood and the risk of losing consciousness. However, I am sure your rides do not involve such sustained g-forces.

    Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD Dr. Richard Bensinger

    Categories: Eye Injuries

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    Answered by: David K. Coats, MD