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Research Letter
June 2011

Commercial Air Travel With a Small Intravitreous Gas Bubble

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery (Dr Muzychuk) and Department of Ophthalmology (Drs Ford and Kherani), University of Calgary, and Calgary Retina Consultants (Drs Adatia and Kherani), Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011;129(6):805-820. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.144

Although the risks of air travel with an intravitreous gas bubble have been well documented, there have been suggestions in the literature that such a flight may be safe under certain conditions, especially with small bubbles. We report a case of significant visual field loss following commercial air travel in a patient with a 10% intravitreous perfluoropropane gas fill.

A 64-year-old man with a history of retinal detachment in the left eye visited his ophthalmologist with a 24-hour history of an “explosion” of floaters in the right eye. His history was also remarkable for glaucoma, for which he was receiving 2 medications but had no glaucomatous damage evident in the right eye on optical coherence tomography and visual field testing (Figure 1A and Figure 2A).