For people with glaucoma, the question of whether or not to fly can be a tough one. On the one hand, flying can be an opportunity to travel and see new places. On the other hand, flying can be stressful and may make your glaucoma worse.

So what should you do if you have glaucoma and want to fly? The first step is to talk to your eye doctor and explain to them if it's a short air journey or long haul flight. They will be able to tell you whether or not flying is safe for you based on your individual health situation.

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve, and it can be made worse by changes in atmospheric pressure, such as those experienced during a flight. In some cases, flying with glaucoma can be difficult and can cause severe pain. However, for most people with the condition, flying is perfectly safe and without risk factors. In this blog post, we will discuss glaucoma and high altitude and how to travel with refrigerated medications.

Travel coolers for refrigerated eye drops and injectable drugs

Related article: Do Latanoprost Glaucoma Eye Drops Need to Be Refrigerated?

Glaucoma and High Altitude

For people with glaucoma, high altitude can lead to increased eye pressure, intraocular pressure (IOP), and trigger globoid macular edema (GME), leading to the blurred central field and compression illumination within one's line of sight.

High altitudes can also cause dehydration, which can make symptoms worse. If you have glaucoma and want to fly, it's important to talk to your doctor first. They will be able to determine if flying is safe for you based on your individual health situation.

The effects of high altitude and atmospheric pressure are different for each person.

Related article: Flying With A Migraine, Tips to Prepare for Take-Off!

How Can I Prevent My Glaucoma From Getting Worse While Flying?

There are a few things you can do to prevent your glaucoma from getting worse while flying:

  • Wearing sunglasses can help to protect your eyes from the dry, recycled air in the cabin.

  • Drinking plenty of water will help you to keep hydrated and to keep your eyes lubricated and prevent them from drying out.

  • If your eyes start to feel dry, use artificial tears to lubricate them.

  • Take breaks from looking at screens or reading during your flight, and close your eyes for a few minutes.

Can I Bring Eye Drops on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring your eye drops on the plane.

If you're flying with glaucoma, it's important to bring enough eye drops for long-haul flights, as well as a backup pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses in case your vision becomes blurred.

Airport guidelines dictate that you will need to pack your eye drops in your carry-on bag, as they are considered liquid. It's best to place them inside a sealed container together with clear markings reporting their content. Even better is that you store them in an eye drop or medication cooler from 4AllFamily.

How to Travel With Refrigerated Medications?

Before we send you on your trip we want to finalize this article with a few tips on how to travel with medication that needs to stay cool.

  • Never put your medication in checked luggage; always keep it with you in your carry-on.

  • Insulin should be kept cool but not too cold; between 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.

  • Use a 4AllFamily portable fridges or eye drop cooling cases to keep your insulin at the proper temperature.

  • Be sure to pack all extra and spare supplies in your carry-on as well.

  • When going through airport security, inform the TSA agent that you are traveling with medication that needs to be refrigerated.

Related article: Should I Keep My Eye Drops in the Fridge?

 Eye drops travel coolers from 4AllFamily

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fly with narrow-angle glaucoma?

Fortunately, you can still fly with narrow-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma does not cause any pain, and it will not affect your vision while you are in the air. However, you should still consult with your doctor before flying, as they may want to monitor your condition more closely.

Related article: Can Diabetes Cause Glaucoma?

Can I fly if I have had glaucoma surgery?

Yes, you can fly after having eye surgery or cataract surgery. However, you should wait at least two weeks after you had a specialist medical treatment before flying. This will give your body time to heal properly. Get a recommended timeframe from your eye doctor before air travel.


Flying with glaucoma is safe as long as you follow the guidelines provided by your doctor. Make sure to get a timeframe from your eye doctor before air travel and to review TSA rules so that you are aware of what is and is not allowed.

Related article: How to Get Travel Insurance for Preexisting Medical Conditions?

April 28, 2022

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The information presented in this article and its comment section is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns or questions you may have.