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Tübingen High Altitude Ophthalmology

Field Study at the Capanna Margherita 4554m

High altitude is well known to induce a complex series of pathophysiological changes on humans and altitude related illnesses occur frequently in trekkers and mountaineers all around the world. Hypoxia, however, is also relevant in clinical practice as many widespread diseases such as diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular illnesses result in tissue hypoxia.

The functioning of the visual system is compromised at high altitude due to the hypoxic environment and many significant ophthalmological effects have been (more or less anecdotally) noted amongst high altitude enthusiasts. Although progress of understanding the pathophysiology has been made in recent years, it is of great importance to further characterize and investigate the effects of high altitude hypoxia using cutting edge technologies, equipment and to study the changes on a functional and quantitative basis.

We have therefore set up a research initiative to investigate the effects of hypoxia on the visual system at the Capanna Margherita situated at an altitude of 4559 m. These studies will help to quantitatively identify the effects of hypoxia on the eye, which will not only have an impact on trekkers, but also patients suffering from diseases which are linked to hypoxia.

The first research expedition (THAO1) took place between August 28th and September 12th 2010.

About new expeditions (THAO2) we will inform you here.