The performance of resistance exercise has evidenced to induce abrupt intraocular pressure (IOP) changes, which has been linked to the onset and progression of glaucoma. We found that four different isometric resistance exercises lead to an instantaneous and progressive IOP elevation, with these changes being independent of the type of exercise.
The impact of physical exercise on IOP has demonstrated to be dependent on exercise type and intesity, as well as individuals' characteristics. In this study, we aimed to explore the influence of the load, exercise type, and participant's sex on the IOP behavior during a 2-minute isometric effort.
Twenty-eight physically active collegiate students performed 2 minutes of isometric exercise in the military press, biceps curl, leg extension, and calf raise exercises against two different loads (high load and low load). Intraocular pressure was measured by rebound tonometry before, during (semicontinuos assessment [24 measurements]), and after 10 seconds of recovery in each of the eight (four exercises × two loads) conditions.
We found a statistically significant effect of load (P < .001, np2 = 0.906), with greater IOP values when performing the isometric exercises against heavier loads. There was a positive IOP rise during the execution of isometric exercise in the high-load condition, returning to baseline levels after 10 seconds of passive recovery. The exercise type and participant's sex did not reveal statistically significant differences (P = .33 and P = .56, respectively).
Our data evidenced an instanteneous and progressive IOP rise during the execution of isometric exercise leading to muscular failure, regardless of the exercise type and participant's sex. After exercise, IOP rapidly returned to baseline levels (within 10 seconds). The inclusion of glaucoma patients in future studies is guaranteed.