The Effects of Hypoxia Induced by Low Atmospheric Pressure on Soft Contact Lens Wear
Final rept. 1 Jun 1983-1 Jan 1985
SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE BROOKS AFB TX
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Contact lens use in aviation has long been a subject of debate and controversy. One of the major concerns for contact lens wear at altitude is the potential for corneal edema and subsequent visual degradation, due to the reduced levels of oxygen available for normal corneal metabolism. Four subjects were tested, wearing both high-and low-water content soft contact lenses, for visual changes and adverse corneal physiological responses due to hypoxia induced by an atmospheric pressure level equivalent to 10,000 ft. Results of this study indicate that, although the cornea is placed under higher levels of physiological stress at an altitude of 10,000 ft, the absence of visual degradation or significant symptoms suggests that lenses can be safely worn under the conditions of this study.
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