Observation and management of retinal changes related to diving in professional divers.

Chinese medical journal

PubMedID: 24534231

Zhou D, Wei W, Tian B, Wang C, Shi X, Jiao X. Observation and management of retinal changes related to diving in professional divers. Chin Med J. 2014;127(4):729-33.
BACKGROUND
It is very common for professional divers to have damage on the retinas. Severe retinal lesions can profoundly affect athletes' training efficacy and their daily lives. At present, it is not clear if there is effective preventive action. Thus, in our study, we continuously tracked the ocular changes in athletes and closely monitored the risk factors associated with retinal detachment. Also, we analyzed possible interventions, their associated factors, and efficacies for timely preventions to protect the retina from damage in professional divers.

METHODS
Between 2009 and 2012, a total of 39 professional divers enrolled in follow-up management. The conducted examinations included ocular examination, record screening on retinal lesion, monitoring best-corrected visual acuity, and checking intraocular pressure (IOP) and the scope of retinal lesion. The management included optimizing training methods, taking customized follow-up based on different retinal lesions, laser treatments for definite cases of retinal tear, retinal degeneration caused by retinal layer thinning or vitreous traction, and observing the changes in the scope of retinopathy.

RESULTS
Every year, the percentage of divers who have various degrees of retinal lesions is between 43.3% and 56.2%. During the 4 years, there were no statistically significant differences in divers' best-corrected visual acuity and retinal lesions. There were also no statistically significant differences between male and female athletes. However, there were statistically significant differences in IOP during these years. Moreover there were statistically significant differences in IOP and the scope of retinal lesions between platform divers and springboard divers.

CONCLUSIONS
Our management of retinal lesions could be effective to prevent severe retinopathy in professional divers. At the same time, platform divers are more likely to have retinal lesions than springboard divers.