Ocular Changes At Altitude

Examination of the retinas of people climbing on Everest expeditions have shown the common occurrence of small, flame-shaped haemorrhages in the retina. These are not sight threatening. Most visual problems at altitude are related to exposure of the corneas to wind, cold and ultraviolet light. Wind and cold cause mechanical abrasions and drying of the cornea. Ultraviolet light damage causes snow blindness. Extreme precautions against exposure to ultraviolet light and wind damage must be taken, with dark goggles that protect from the side as well.

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