/ Laser eye surgery and altitude

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Blunderbuss - on 19 Apr 2013
I am thinking of getting this done but am wondering about the effect of climbing at altitude after the operation.

Have heard tales of people having vision problems at very high altitude but I would be alpine climbing so no higher than 5000m.

Does anyone have any experience of this?
Kai - on 19 Apr 2013
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Lasik is fine at altitude.

The people who had altitude issues had radial keratotomy, which isn't really done any more.

I had lasik done, have never regretted it, and have climbed above 4000 meters on numerous occasions without issue.
boriselbrus - on 20 Apr 2013
In reply to Blunderbuss:

I had PRK (the old type) in 1993 and have since climbed to 4500m without problems if that helps.
David Hillebrandt - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Dear "Blunderbuss",

You need to discuss the surgical options with your NHS specialist. Ensure he/she is aware of your mountaineering ambitions. The UIAA website has a specific advice paper, authored by two UK mountaineering eye surgeons with a section on this topic. See the paper on "Eyes on Expeditions" in the medical recommendations section of this website:
http://www.theuiaa.org/medical_advice.html . It might be worth taking a copy of the recommendations to your specialist appointment.


David Hillebrandt
jcw on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to Blunderbuss: Of course as Dr Hillebrandt says you need medical consultation. Laser as I understand it is basically a technique, not a cure. I have had corneal grafts on both my eyes (1987 & 1991) for kerataconus and more recently a cataract (done with laser, I presume). I consequently need very special contact lenses, without which I'm as blind as a bat and that can lead to excitement when they pop at awkward times or with dust problems when it's windy. But the condition and treatment in no way has stopped me climbing in the Alps or elsewhere and I have never received advice not to. On the contrary.

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