Running/Jogging 5K
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8 days ago

Would running/jogging a moderate 5k raise IOP considerably?

How about walking? Thanks.

iop:intraocular-pressure exercise jogging • 174 views
Entering edit mode
8 days ago
david 3.2k

How about walking?

I''ll answer this first. Walking generally reduces intraocular pressure. Walking is a great activity for glaucoma patients. Most gentle to moderate exercise will reduce IOP.

Walking's efficacy in lowering IOP can be enhanced a few different ways. One enhancement I use is to walk mindfully. What this means is that I let the voice in my head become quiet and I engage in paying attention to the sights, sounds, smells, etc. of nature while walking. I also walk at a relaxed pace.

This article is relevant (especially the last section):

Doing things slowly in a fast world |

Would running/jogging a moderate 5k raise IOP considerably?

Generally, running or jogging at any pace will lower IOP. There may be a few exceptions to that, but for the majority of people, moderate exercise lowers eye pressure.

Check below the fold if you want to understand possible exceptions to the rule. However, keep in mind the general rule that moderate exercise is beneficial overall as well as useful for reducing IOP.

When could exercise increase intraocular pressure?

Training or racing at one's limit can sometimes increases IOP. Excessive straining and particularly holding one's breath in heavy weight lifting (the valsalva manuever) will raise intraocular pressure.

Also, if you have pigment dispersion syndrome (PDS) or pigmentary glaucoma, repetitive impacts such as in jogging can potentially dislodge pigment from the iris which can lead to elevated IOP. I do have PDS, but I never had any problem with elevated IOP after jogging.

However, here is what Dr. Robert Ritch has to say in response to this topic:

I exercise test all my PDS patients. It’s jumping that releases pigment the most, but jogging does also, so I have patients run a mile around the hospital and take IOP before and after and look for pigment in the anterior chamber, since there can be a delayed IOP rise after pigment release.

I also have them do jumping jacks. Not all patients get pigment release and a rise in IOP but some can go to an IOP of 50+.

We once had the captain of the Israeli soccer team in – he was getting blurred vision during the games and he had PDS. We had him run around but nothing happened. Then we remembered they hit the ball with their head, so we started bouncing the ball off his head and his IOP went to 50 and his anterior chamber was full of pigment. Have to think of these things. If you don’t, they wind up with surgery eventually.


Unfortunately, not all ophthalmologists are as enterprising as Dr. Ritch in looking for pigment release. There is a lot of undiagnosed PDS.


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