Contra-indications to Diving from Eye Problems

Post-operative gas in the eye

Diving should not be allowed early in the post-operative period because of the possibility of gas having been inserted purposefully or inadvertently. Boyle’s Law dictates that the air will change in volume inversely in proportion to the depth and the possibility of injury to the eye would be great.

Hollow orbital implant

The implant would implode at depth, severely injuring the orbit and endangering the diver.

Any acute disorder

Pain, double vision or decrease in visual acuity would interfere with the problem solving and decision making process of the diver.

Recent eye surgery within the convalescent period.

Visual problems from previous DCS or AGE.

Where there is loss of vision severe enough as to make it dangerous for them to function in an underwater environment.

Functioning filters (Relative contraindication)

Divers who have undergone recent glaucoma filtering surgery. A minimum of two months convalescence is recommended after this procedure.

Individuals who have undergone ophthalmic surgical procedures should allow an appropriate period for wound healing before resuming diving. [See chart below]


Ernest S. Campbell, M.D., FACS

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