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I have thin fragile retinas, and an uncle and mother who have had retinal detachments. I am now 60 and in good health, but travel between UK and Spain. I had my first (of 5) detachment, in the right eye, some 15 years ago (successful laser treatment) , followed by one in left eye (successful laser and cryo treatment) 12 years ago, then another in the right (successful laser treatment, but needed glasses to correct squint) some 6 years ago. Then right eye went again some 4 years ago; laser treatment didn't work, but I then had a successful vitrectomy. This was followed by cataract surgery in both eyes - wonderfully successful. During these years I flew 2 or 3 return trips per year, mostly short but some long haul.
In April, some 6 weeks ago, I flew a 2 hour flight, and two days later I saw a detachment in the right eye. I had another - successful - vitrectomy. After two and a half weeks the gas had gone, and I was given the OK to fly back to Spain, which I did a week later. Another 2 hour flight - and three days later the right retina detached again, same eye, different location. It was a tiny hole, but lasering didn't do the trick, so I am now holding my head in the right position as vitrectomy number three does its job.
Both the last two surgeons have assured me that there is no statistical correlation between flying and detachments, but right now I don't want to get on another plane ever - which is going to make for a lot of problems. Are you aware of any relationship between flying and retinal detachments? I don't know if the pressure changes might have an effect? Or anyone researching detachments who might have suggestions?
I'd be very grateful for any ideas or advice. To date I have been treated with incredible success, but I don't know how many more times the retina can be stuck back down...
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