Aerobic Exercise Beneficial for Glaucoma Patients

Scientists in Greece have released results of a study in which they questioned whether there should be limits on exercise with regard to effects on inter-ocular pressure (IOP) of the eyes.  This study, published in the August issue of BMC Ophthalmology, found that people with glaucoma do not need to limit exercise, as IOP decreased during aerobic activity.
145 participants were given a preliminary ophthalmologic exam.  45 participants had primary (open-angle) glaucoma; 100 did not have glaucoma.  The IOP of both eyes was measured before and after exercise (biking or jogging).

A significant decrease in IOP was found during exercise.  Researchers found that the aerobic exercise reduced  IOP in those eyes in which a b-blocker, a prostaglandin analogue or an alpha-agonist were previously instilled. The IOP was also decreased in glaucoma patients who were already under anti-glaucoma treatment.

Study authors determined that glaucoma patients benefited from aerobic exercise regardless of the anti-glaucoma medication instilled, as all participants had a post-exercise reduction of IOP.

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SOURCE:  Aerobic exercise and intraocular pressure in normotensive and glaucoma patients, Natsis, et al, BMC Ophthalmology 2009, 9:6doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-6.