Does The Altitude Of Colorado Affect LASIK Safety?

Does The Altitude Of Colorado Affect LASIK Safety?

There are a variety of eye issues that are brought on by high altitudes. Individuals that live in high altitudes have a harder time using extended wear contact lenses. Even though there are now contact lenses that you can leave in overnight, altitude causes problems that don’t happen at regular elevation.

This and many other issues related to altitude are caused by an increased swelling of the cornea, which is referred to as corneal edema. Because of the increase in corneal edema cases in high altitude areas, many people question the safety of LASIK surgery there. Is it possible that having LASIK in Colorado is less safe than it would be in another state, say California?

While this is a valid concern and is a question that you should address with whoever you choose to be your LASIK surgeon, you can still have a safe surgery in the Colorado and other high elevation areas. Most experts agree that there is no extra risk in having LASIK done in high elevation. Many experts also believe that having LASIK done in high elevation areas is a lot better for your eyes, because many eye problems in high elevations are caused by corrective lenses.

The belief that LASIK isn’t as safe in high elevations comes from the experience of Dr. Beck Weathers. Dr Weathers had an older-style surgery called RK (radial keratometry) to have his vision corrected, and ran into problems while climbing Mt. Everest. His vision decreased so much in the high altitude it forced him to turn around and nearly resulted in his death. RK surgery has also resulted in problematic vision for two other climbers attempting to climb Mt. Everest and Mt. McKinley. Studies, however, have shown that climbers have NOT had the same issues if their vision correction was done with laser corrective surgeries such as LASIK and PRK.

Speak with you surgeon about the issue, but most experts believe that you are in the clear no matter the elevation where you live.