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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 585218, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Hypobaric Hypoxia: Effects on Intraocular Pressure and Corneal Thickness

1Department of Sense Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
2Italy Air Force Main Medical Wing, via Caluri, 1,37069 Villafranca, Verona, Italy
3Department of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Nephrology, Geriatric, and Anesthetic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy

Received 5 August 2013; Accepted 22 October 2013; Published 16 January 2014

Academic Editors: T. Kubota and K. Unlu

Copyright © 2014 Marcella Nebbioso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The purpose of this study focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying ocular hydrodynamics and the changes which occur in the eyes of subjects exposed to hypobaric hypoxia (HH) to permit the achievement of more detailed knowledge in glaucomatous disease. Methods. Twenty male subjects, aged years, attending the Italian Air Force, were enrolled for this study. The research derived from hypobaric chamber, using helmet and mask supplied to jet pilotes connected to oxygen cylinder and equipped with a preset automatic mixer. Results. The baseline values of intraocular pressure (IOP), recorded at T1, showed a mean of  mmHg, while climbing up to 18,000 feet the mean value was  mmHg, recorded at T2. The last assessment was performed returning to sea level (T4) where the mean IOP value was  mmHg, with a significant change () compared to T1. Pachymetry values related to corneal thickness in conditions of hypobarism revealed a statistically significant increase (). Conclusions. The data collected in this research seem to confirm the increasing outflow of aqueous humor (AH) in the trabecular meshwork (TM) under conditions of HH.