Article Text

The Effect of High Altitude on the Visual System
  1. Surgeon Commander Andrew Gibson, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Consultant Advisor in Ophthalmology to Royal Navy1 and
  2. M McKenna2
  1. 1James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW 01642 854025 andrew.gibson{at}
  2. 2Foundation Year 2 Doctor James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, Royal Army Medical Corps


Increased ultraviolet light exposure and hypoxia at altitude along with the body’s physiological adaptation to altitude can lead to problems with the visual system. The problems that occur can be at the time of the exposure or delayed. The article provides an overview of the ways which the different components of the visual system can be affected following such exposure.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.