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Seeking Answers: Can Flyng Affect VIsion for Someone With Macular Puckers?
cyndiebeth posted:
I was diagnosed a few weeks ago with macular puckers in both eyes. I had flown on a business trip, and following the trip had severe blurriness. The ophthalmologist diagnosed macular puckers in both eyes, and I was scheduled to meet with a retinologist. In the three weeks that ensued, my vision improved, and I could once again, read street signs, books, etc. The retinologist told me the improvement couldn't be real; that I had worked my way around the loss of fine vision. He did put me on drops to reduce inflammation.

I just took another short business trip, requiring two flights. I woke up this morning with extreme blurriness again.

Can flying cause inflammation to the eyes, exascerbating the condition??

I am a female, 55 year old in great health with no other health issues. The tests were performed by both doctors and showed the presence of the puckers in each eye.
Alan M Kozarsky, MD responded:
Macular pucker is a fairly common condition in which a thin layer of tissue forms over the central retina. This layer contracts (pucker) and can distort vision to a variable degree. Occasionally, there can be some retinal swelling under the pucker layer.

When you travel by air, there are two physical effects that come to mind. The first is a decrease in atmospheric pressure and the second is a dry environment. The decrease in pressure in a typical airliner is very minimal with the cabin set at 4000 - 6000 feet above sea level. This is less of an effect than traveling to Denver, Colorado. The other effect is low humidity which could temporarily worsen a dry eye tendency.

This being said, I can't think of a mechanism by which the airline flight could cause even a temporary worsening of your macular pucker condition.
cyndiebeth replied to Alan M Kozarsky, MD's response:
Thank you, Doctor. The last time I flew, a month before, was when the blurriness was so severe I went to the. Ophthalmic and then retinologist seeking answers. Over the course of three weeks it improved to the point where I could once again read, see street signs, basically live my life normally. I flew afpgain this week and once again can't quite read what Im typing, can't make out details on faces, etc. I was told it can't improve. Yet it did. So I'm stumped here. And said that once again I can't see without great effort.

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