High Altitude And Vision Correction Surgery - Help Wanted!

Posted by Jeremy Windsor on Sep 25, 2021

We've just received news from Professor Andy Luks about a new study that he and his colleagues are working on. If you've had vision correction surgery and been to altitude you're invited to take part...

Going to high altitude after vision correction surgery puts you at risk of developing a variety of problems ranging from dry eyes, light sensitivity and nearsightedness, to rare, life threatening cases of near-blindness. Despite these reports, little is known about how common these symptoms are.

We are conducting a survey to estimate how often vision changes occur in those who've travelled to high altitude after vision correction surgery. People who have had vision correction surgery are eligible to participate, whether they have experienced visual symptoms or not. 

Following a radical keratotomy to correct short sightedness, Beck Wethers developed blurred vision close to the summit of Everest. The onset of a storm resulted in him being separated from his team. After a night spent out in the open above 8000m, he eventually made it back to Camp 4. Beck suffered extensive frostbite to his face and limbs that needed extensive reconstructive surgery. Beck's account of his ordeal can be found in his fascinating book, "Left For Dead" 

If you are eligible and choose to participate, you will find a link to the anonymous on-line survey at the bottom of this email. The survey will take less than 20 minutes to complete and does not require any personal information.

Participation in this study is voluntary. You may decline to answer any question in the survey. All the information you provide will remain anonymous and no one will be able to identify you from the information you have given. Although you will not benefit directly from this survey, we anticipate that information learned from the survey will help guide medical practice for future climbers travelling to high altitude.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through the blog. Please be reminded that the confidentiality of emails cannot be guaranteed. We appreciate your time and effort in completing this survey and look forward to reviewing the information you provide.

Click here to complete this survey. If the link does not work, you can copy and paste the following email into your web browser:


Please remember to click "submit" at the end of the survey to ensure that your answers are all saved properly!

We'll be talking to the authors and sharing the results of this study once it's published. Thanks Andy!

Why not book a place on a BMMS UCLan Mountain Medicine Winter Webinar? All are welcome! Details can be found here.

We are hoping to run a one day face-to-face event in the Peak District on the 13th June 2022. Through talks, workshops and a walk in the hills we'll explore the power of hill walking in treating a range of mental health issues. All are welcome! More information can be found here.

If you would like to find out more about mountain medicine why not join the British Mountain Medicine Society? See this link for details.

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