How Workout Affects Our Eyes

Generally, exercise is good for health and promote overall immune system.  Regular workout helps to guard your eyesight. Over the past decade, many studies have discovered a connection between regular workout can reduce the risk of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.

The workout may nay not directly affect your eyes, but it can affect other health conditions such as blood pressure and diabetes and result in eyes problem.

An individual with good eyesight and good workout routine can considerably have better eye health, and there will be no chances of developing eye problem such as glaucoma. Performing moderate exercise benefits positively for overall health.

However, the research found that how a workout can affect eyes in future. Before you feel to add up weightlifting your workout schedule, make sure to know the future effect on eye health and which health conditions can occur.

Risk of workout and eye health

There are several cardio workouts such as biking, running, and swimming which helps to release the stress you are encountering physically and mentally.

The pressure you feel while doing cardio workout may get reduced, but the pressure can also raise in your eye area. The cardio workout provides excellent benefits for better blood circulation and lung capacity, but the high-pressure levels while exercising occur when you hold your breath during some series of weightlifting and repetitions put more pressure on eyes.

Example: If an individual has several repetitions for more time length while completing the exercise holding breath can affect eye vision.

According to a couple of research, pressure can impair your vision. The doctors compared breathing and not breathing during lifting weight and discovered that pressure gets double in the people who did not take a breath.

If an individual continues to perform weight lifting without breathing can develop a high risk of vision impairment and glaucoma in the future.

How workout reduce eyesight?

There are certain health conditions which cause to reduce eyesight due to workout. The people who already have eye problems should take care while doing exercise and avoid overdoing it. Especially, people with high blood pressure and diabetes.


People with diabetes can increase the chances of developing eye diseases. Heavy workout induced diabetes causes to harm the blood vessels in your retina which describe as retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can result in other eye problem such as cataracts, glaucoma.

If the diabetic retinopathy is mild, then you can continue moderate exercise but in case of severe conditions try to avoid and take your doctor advice.

The individual with severe diabetic retinopathy needs to be aware of the activities they are performing because heavy workout can change the blood pressure. The workout which can quickly affect the blood pressure includes martial arts, baseball, racing, sprints, heavy weight lifting. Even the activities which involve placing your head below your heart level can put the negative effect on eyes health.

High blood pressure

Individuals with HBP – high blood pressure can develop more chances of vision loss and hypertension. High blood pressure put a strain on blood vessels which leads to optic nerves swelling. If high blood pressure left untreated, then it can lead to permanent eyes sight damage accompanied by a stroke that can harm brain function which is responsible for image processing.

During the workout, your heart pumps heavy blood out to supply to your body every minute which expands the blood vessels inside the muscles. These two things cause to increase blood pressure. If you are working single muscle group such as biceps curls, then your blood pressure increases more during a workout.

During the huge muscles group workout such as jogging, your blood pressure increases in a smaller amount and after one hour it should be normal. If you are feeling unusual, then consider checking with your doctor. Remember as you start to age, your blood pressure also gets affected.

You need to be cautious and avoid steep hills which raises heart rate. If you see that your pulse rate is increasing, then stop the activity and breath.

Skip huge liftings such as shoveling, object lifting and the activities which include lifting your arms for an extended time. Ask your doctor before you begin a workout.

Which eye diseases are more likely to develop through the workout?




It is a group of eye problems which causes to harm your optic nerves. The optic nerves are responsible for sending visual information to the brain from your eyes.

Glaucoma is a rare eye disease which occurs due to the abnormally high blood pressure in the eyes. Over time, the increased blood pressure can cause to damage optic nerve tissues which can result in vision loss or blindness. If the condition of glaucoma diagnosed early, then it can help to prevent vision loss.

Open-angle glaucoma: It is a primary type of common condition which doesn’t show any symptoms except progressive vision loss. To prevent this eye condition, you need to have yearly comprehensive eye analysis under eye specialist to monitor the vision changes.

Acute-angle closure glaucoma: It is a secondary eye condition which also describes as narrow-angle-glaucoma. It is an emergency condition and needs immediate medical care if you get the following symptoms:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Vomiting
  • Abrupt vision disturbances
  • Nausea
  • Redness in your eye
  • Unexpected blurred vision
  • Seeing colored circles around lights

Causes for Glaucoma and High Pressure

Restricted Drainage: Aqueous humour – a clear fluid which continuously flows from the front part of your eye, an equal amount is meant to drain. When this flow is unable to drain, the fluid will accumulate in the eye and cause to raise the pressure. This pressure gradually damages the nerves and result in glaucoma.

Glaucoma cause blindness?

If your high blood pressure gets normal, then your vision loss progress gets slow. There is no treatment for glaucoma, and it needs treatment to control your eye diseases. Unfortunately, vision loss happened due to glaucoma cannot be cured.

As glaucoma don’t have any cure, early finding it can help to start the treatment to reduce the symptoms. The simple way to detect it is to have a yearly check-up with an eye specialist.


A cataract is an eye disease which has clouding of the normal transparent eye lens. The eye lens looks like fogged up or frosty. Clouded vision occurred by cataracts can cause difficulty reading, driving or detecting a face.

Most of the eye-cataracts progress silently without symptoms but over the time it will bother your vision. Initially, eyeglasses and good lighting can help to deal with cataracts. If you get impaired vision which disturbs your routine activities, then you may require cataract surgery.

As the heavy lifting and more workout causes you cataract eyes problem, it may need surgery in severe cases.

Signs of cataracts include:

  • Dim, Clouded, blurred vision
  • An increasing problem with vision at night
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Need for brighter light for reading
  • Getting “halos” around lights
  • Constant changes in contact lens and eyeglass prescription
  • Yellowing or fading of colors
  • Double vision with single eye

Can you continue gym activity after eye surgery?

It is a simple thing to understand that more pressure on lens area or eyeball where surgery happens can again affect. Even you need to avoid rubbing your eyes accidentally which can increase the pressure and effect on the healing process of a new lens in your eye’s tissues. Also, you need to avoid sneezing and vomiting which can drastically raise the pressure in your eyeball.

Regarding your weight lifting activity, again you cannot take your eyes below your heart which can put pressure again on your eyes and result in a risky problem.

Macular degeneration

Macular degeneration also describes as age related-macular-degeneration. It occurs due to central retina deterioration and results in vision impairment. It is responsible for vision focus on reading ability, driving a car, identifying face color and object.

Macular degeneration is not curable, but its symptoms can be reduced by medication, vitamin, laser therapy, and vision assistance.

You can compare human eyes with the camera. The macula is the most sensitive and central part like camera film. When macula works properly, it captures a high-quality image at the center vision and transfers it to optic nerve to the brain. When the macula cells begin to decline, it is unable to collect the information correctly.

During the initial stage, the macular decline doesn’t affect on vision, but in later stages, macular degeneration becomes worse. You may experience blurred and wavy vision. If this condition persists, then it will result in complete vision loss.

The connection between eye health and workout

Oxidative stress is the main link between your physical activity and vision. Oxidative stress a significant term which is well known in recent years and few people understand how it affects well-being.

It is an imbalance production of reactive oxygen species or free radicals in the human body and reduced the capacity of the body to fight with harmful substances.

The process of electrons removing from molecules or atoms is described as Oxidation. Free radicals are strongly reactive and electronically unstable which leads to aging and age-linked ailments.

According to research, oxidative stress is a risk factor for the growth of the ocular disease.

Studies discovered that regular moderate workout prevents the oxidative damaging effects and maintain good eye health. Regular treadmill workout helps to modify the retina’s morphological changes which are a promising solution for the age-related disease of the retina such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Weightlifting Causes Eye pressure

A research study by co-author Dr. Robert Ritch, New York City (the Department-of-Ophthalmology at the New-York-Eye-and-Ear-Infirmary)

According to a study, 30 male weightlifter has a measurement of intraocular pressure, and none of them had glaucoma which is a result tested before a workout.

The men begin high weight bench press of four repetitions, and later they had pressure measurement in the right eye. The weightlifter didn’t take a breath during their last repetition.

Then they again did the workout and normally took a breath and had left eye pressure.  While the fourth repetition again the pressure measurement of eye conducted.

The research team discovered that the intra-ocular pressure raised in 27 men at 4.3 millimeters of mercury.

In the second round of 18 men had an average of 2.2 millimeters mercury raised in eye pressure.

The researcher said that the increased pressure happens because of Valsalva maneuver or comparable movement is performed during the bench press. The higher pressure may occur while the first repetition because of chest pressure caused by air held in the lungs.

How weight lifting linked with glaucoma?

Generally, normal and healthy people will not get glaucoma. If their eye problem already exists and you are not aware of it, then increased pressure of weightlifting can affect eyes.

The people who already diagnosed with glaucoma may be risking themselves if they continue weightlifting or another workout which increase eye pressure.


Aerobic and Isokinetic workout can decrease the intraocular pressure in your eyes. Aerobic exercises are good for increasing good blood flow to eyes. Make sure that you can exercises can raise your pulse rate up to 25%, so the pressure to eyes gets reduce. People who engage in moderate exercise for three months of time can significantly reduce pressure in the eyes.

Other prevention

Have regular eye check-up. Eye check-up can help to find any developing eye problems at the early stage. Get your doctor’s advice about how many times you can have eye check-up.

Try to quit smoking, the nicotine present in cigarette also cause to increase arterial blood pressure and intraocular pressure. Take your doctor’s advice to stop the smoking. Talk about counseling and medications to avoid smoking.

Manage your other health conditions. If you have diabetes or any other eye disease, then follow your doctor’s instructions and avoid all things which can increase your sugar levels.

Maintain a healthy diet which can provide you all kind of essential vitamins and minerals. Add all kind of green vegetables and fruits, nuts and healthy oils and proteins. Especially eat foods which are good for improving eyes health such as orange, carrot, fish, seeds, and nuts.

Save your eyes from ultraviolet light of the sun by wearing sunglasses. Direct sunrays can contribute to increase the eyes disease and increase pressure. Make sure to use sunglasses when you are outside in strong sunlight.

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