• Can I travel by car to altitudes of 2,500 to 3,800 hundred feet while driving across the U.S. five weeks after a gas bubble has been put in my left eye?


    Question:

    Can I travel by car to altitudes of 2,500 to 3,800 hundred feet while driving across the U.S. five weeks after a gas bubble has been put in my left eye?


    Answer:

    When a gas bubble has been placed in an eye, usually to treat a retinal detachment (when the eye’s light sensitive tissue peels away from the back of the eye), the bubble will expand when one moves from a lower to a higher altitude. That expansion can cause the eye pressure to become elevated, possibly causing pain or even obstruction of the blood flow. The degree of bubble expansion, and the risks described, increase with the size of the gas bubble and the degree of altitude change. The size of the gas bubble diminishes over time as the gas is absorbed. It is unlikely that there is a significant risk traveling to these altitudes five weeks after injection of the bubble. However, I encourage you to ask your surgeon about the safety of your proposed car travel.


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