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Had vitreous hemorrhage and retinal detachment. Is there increased risk of complications while flying?

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Practicing since : 2000
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I have a vitreous (retinal)hemorrhage at present, being monitored.(diagnosed 4 days ago) I had a retinal detachment in same eye 2 yrs ago treated with gas bubble and laser, had been stable except for 2 minor tears, since.. I am supposed to fly to Fla in 2 days. Is there increased risk of complications ie detachment with my flying? Can the pressure from ascent/descent affect retina

also, I have no health risk factors ie diabetes etc. How am I sure my bleeding is not secondary to any underlying condition. I do have retinal detachment family history and my opthalmologist/retinal specialist assures me bleeding and retinal tears are due to my eye anatomy, nothing else. can you elaborate on that and assure me there is nothing i should be doing to prevent this.

I have extremely dry eyes, they were worse prior to this hemorrhage; does that contribute to bleeds?
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. Mihir Shah 1 hour later


Thanks for the query,

1. The vitreous haemorrhage you are talking about is caused by the rupture of small blood vessels passing over the tears. This can happen frequently and such blood vessel needs to be "lasered" if feasible.

2. Flying will not cause detachment but it may cause some more bleeding from the same vessel. In such cases, I suggest my patients to avoid flying until the haemorrhage clears and the blood vessel is lasered. Discuss about this option with your ophthalmologist.

3. As you rightly mentioned, retinal tears and holes are due to your eye anatomy which is inherited. The only preventive measure that can be taken is to laser these holes and tears to prevent from further detachments.

4. Dry eyes is an external condition which is caused by inadequate tear secretion and is also influenced by the external environment. The bleeding inside the retina has no relation to the dry eyes.

Hope I have answered your queries. I will be available to answer any further queries if you have any.

Best Regards,
Dr.Mihir Shah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had vitreous hemorrhage and retinal detachment. Is there increased risk of complications while flying? 21 hours later
saw my retianl specialist today. My hemorrhages are absorbing slowly but still present. He said i could fly, but I am being cautious and cancelling trip. He said these type of hemorrhages are not lasered. Any comments. Do you agree about my hesitation about flying.
Answered by Dr. Mihir Shah 12 hours later
Thanks for writing back.

I would suggest that you be cautious and not fly till your haemorrhages clear. Also find out from your doctor about the chances of recurrence of these haemorrhages. In order to comment further, I would like to know the cause of haemorrhage.

I will be available for further queries.

Dr.Mihir Shah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had vitreous hemorrhage and retinal detachment. Is there increased risk of complications while flying? 8 hours later
my retinal specialist said it was due to predisposing factors in my makeup, no known cause; I have no risk factors ie diabetes,vascular-am very healthy, exercise and eat right. I have family history of detachments. he said hemorrhages were different and that they do not laser these hemorrhages only if there was a tear. Does that make sense?
Answered by Dr. Mihir Shah 5 hours later
Hi again,

It is very unusual for these haemorrhages to have no cause. There has to be an underlying cause.

I would suggest you to get a second opinion from another specialist. We can discuss about the treatment depending on the cause.

Hope this helps. Thanks again for posting your query to me.
Let me know if you have any more concerns. And if all your queries are answered, please accept the answer and close the discussion.

Best regards,
Dr.Mihir Shah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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