Computation of the alteration in the intraocular pressure on aeroplanes, fast trains and underground train journeys

Session Details

Session Title: Free Paper Session 13: Vitreoretinal Surgery IV

Session Date/Time: Friday 08/09/2017 | 14:30-16:00

Paper Time: 15:00

Venue: Room 117

First Author: : M.Dogramaci UK

Co Author(s): :    K. Bartzelioti   D. Vaideanu-Collins   G. Jutley                       

Abstract Details

Purpose:

Intra-ocular gas tamponades can expand as a result of the absorption of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide from the surrounding tissue and also as a result of changes in the atmospheric pressure. The aim of this study is to calculate the effect of the change in the atmospheric pressure on different means of transport (aeroplanes, fast trains and underground trains) on the intraocular pressure in eyes with different volumes of gas tamponades.

Setting:

Princess Alexandra Hospital, and James Cook Hospital

Methods:

BNP 180 barometer was used to monitor the change in the atmospheric pressure on aeroplanes, fast trains and underground metro trains. The effect of the alteration in the atmospheric pressure on different volumes of gas tamponade levels in terms of mmHg of IOP pressure change was then calculated by using eye models with different volumes of gas tamponades placed into a sealed chamber. The pressure within the chamber was altered to levels matching those encountered on above means of transport. Linear regression was used to predict the changes in terms of intraocular pressures when exposed to similar atmospheric pressure changes.

Results:

The IOP in eyes filled with 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 ml of SF6 gas increased by increased by 10.80, 20.40, 32.60, 45.10, 57.20 mmHg consecutively on a 170 minute flight between Stanstead airport and Athens, and by peaked on short intervals to 1.1, 2.1, 3.6. 3.8, 6.2 mmHg consecutively on a 128 minute travel on fast train from Darlington (Northeast England) to London and also peaked by 0.2, 0.8, 1.11, 1.7 and 2.3 mmHg consecutively on 13 minutes underground journey on London underground.

Conclusions:

The changes in the atmospheric pressure on the intraocular pressures in eyes with intra ocular gas tamponades varies according to the volume of the gas, with larger gas tamponade volumes being associated with higher values of intraocular pressure alterations. The changes in the cabin pressure during commercial flights can cause a significant increase in the intraocular pressure in eyes with as little as 10% gas tamponade fill. The effect of the transient changes in the atmospheric pressures during fast train journeys and underground train journeys are minimal and are unlikely to be associated with significant alteration in the intraocular pressures.

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