Diabetes Ocular Disease and Travel

Some forms of diabetic retinal disease and surgery could be relative contraindications to prolonged flights requiring pressurized cabins. Daniele and Daniele (1995) reported a 62-year-old woman who had bilateral panretinal laser treatment (argon photocoagulation) for diabetic re-tinopathy and cystoid macular degeneration. Prolonged flights, totaling 42 h, may have severely exacerbated retinal hypoxia and cystoid macular degeneration. The authors postulated an inability of the diabetic retina to respond to hypoxia nearly 1 year after laser treatments. These authors also warn that recent operations on cornea, retina or cataracts must be closely monitored. Cases of central retinal vein occlusion and other forms of chor-ioretinopathy have been linked to air travel.

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