Anisometropia Or Myopia With Climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain :  If you are planning to do the most majestic free-standing volcanic mountain in the world, you probably have a lot of questions pertaining to the suitability of your health to embark on the challenge. Ever come across questions like whether a Myopia or Anisometropia can climb Kilimanjaro Mountain? It’s very important to ask all these questions if you know somehow, they may compromise the chances to your successful summit. Mountain climbing is usually a time-demanding trip that may have been planned for a long while with both financial and emotional investment.

Unfortunately, eye-sight is not usually one of the routine tests that are done beforehand while planning to embark on a Kili mountain climb. On the other hand, it’s very natural that eyesight issues are something that you will find out about way before you have decided to climb Kilimanjaro Mountain, therefore you will have identified it and treated it. It’s however important to give the benefit of the doubt to the possibility that a treated eyesight issue or a previous put-off eyesight issue that wasn’t too bothersome could coincidentally worsen while on the trip.

Scientifically, Anisometropia means two eyes have unequal refractive power or a difference in sphere-cylindrical refractive error between the right and left eyes. Strictly speaking any interocular difference in refractive error could be termed Anisometropia. However, since test-retest studies of refractive error measurement indicate a substantial degree of variability, measurement precision needs to be taken into account when defining and diagnosing Anisometropia.

For this reason, the term ‘Anisometropia’ is usually reserved for clinically significant differences in spherical equivalent refraction that exceed some criterion amount that is well defined.

 Anisometropia is typically considered a fundamental axial length anomaly in which the size of the right and left eyes differs, but in some instances, it can be refractive when the optical power of the eyes differs leading to visual disturbances.

Myopia on the other hand is a medical term for being near sighted. Statistics show that Anisometropia rise is usually more dramatic in myopic individuals.

While Anisometropia remains typically benign vision impairment usually diagnosed during a routine eye check. A severe form of it may present with visual symptoms namely:

Firstly, Amblyopia (lazy eye), Usually, this is when reduced refractive power in one eye causes a lack of visual stimulation that result in insufficient information being transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain,

Strabismus (crossed eyes). When a person is unable to align both eyes, this lack of coordination prevents both eyes from being able to focus on the same point in space

Diplopia (often known as double vision) Overall all these will lead to an eyestrain that can result in headaches, nausea, light sensitivity, and tiredness which are the exact things that a mountain climber is not supposed to have prior to climbing a mountain given the similarities of the symptoms with mountain sickness.

Anisometropia Or Myopia With Climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain
Anisometropia Or Myopia With Climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain

Treatment of Anisometropia

The silver lining about it is when clinically diagnosed for a simple Anisometropia usually glasses or contact lenses can help to correct it. Only a few may require corrective surgery in the long run if there is an identified large degree of Anisometropia. Usually, the glasses or contact lenses have a specific prescription for the refractive error correction. However, glasses can create a considerable difference in the size of the image seen by each eye and can actually prevent good binocular vision.

Treatment in Tanzania

If by any chance you will require screening and treatment while in Tanzania, it’s very fortunate that the Northern Region referral hospital sits right in Moshi town, The Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University Hospital. In the hospital, there are full operating ophthalmology and optometry departments that can screen and intervene immediately to care for your needs. If you do need a second opinion there are also the CCBRT and the Muhimbili national hospitals in Dar es Salaam right before your Zanzibar beach trip.

Can one climb Kili with myopia and Anisometropia?

Luckily, Kilimanjaro climbing is not an exact tourism adventure that requires precise spatial vision acuity. You just need to be able to see enough to navigate your way into the mountain! Sometimes there are views that one may enjoy while trekking up the mountain, you may decide to bring along a binocular that you can use while wearing your corrective glasses.

It’s important to make sure that acclimatization and pacing yourself are priorities so that you don’t have to deal with two concomitant symptoms that you won’t be able to isolate the cause being the mountain sickness or the preexisting eye issue.

If you already experience symptoms of photophobia, you may want to bring along a pair of sunglasses as the reflection of the early morning sunrise on the snow may be a bit much for your eyes.

An exaggerated truth is that even a clinically blind person can climb Kilimanjaro; they just have to choose the best route and have an extra guide!

East Africa Safari Guides we are expert on Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions in Tanzania and our team of experienced tour guides and planners are ready to help you arrange your Kilimanjaro trekking logistic regardless of your Anisometropia or Myopia challenges.

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