Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Am I allowed to take an airplane trip after having pterygium surgery? I had it yesterday and have to go to Chicago for a funeral this week. Will there be pressure problems?

It is safe to fly after surgery on the superficial surface of the eye, but you want to make sure that your eye doesn't dry out. Certainly discuss your trip and post-operative care with your ophthalmologist and make sure that you follow post-op instructions carefully.

People often erroneously feel that "all eye drops are the same" which they are not; some eye drops prevent infection, some treat inflammation, and some lubricate the eye.

Make sure you understand what symptoms are to be expected (scratchiness, redness, irritation) and what symptoms you should call the ophthalmologist about (pain, loss of vision).

Sometimes you just have to take a trip, but most ophthalmologists prefer that you stay in the area for the first week after any eye surgery, just in case you have a problem and need a post-op course correction.

People who have had retinal or vitreous surgery with intraocular gas must not fly, or scuba dive, or go to high altitudes, because the gas inside their eyes can expand and cause artery occlusion and permanent blindness.

Answered by: Anne Sumers, MD Dr. Anne Sumers 

Categories: Eye Surgery

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Answered: Apr 03, 2013

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