Ram Saraswat, D.Optom
Optometrist, Dr. Shroff Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India
Playing sports is a great way to improve your health and fitness, and sports have a great impact on a person’s daily life and in making us mentally and physically fit. In this busy and hectic life, help to increase quality of sleep, muscle training, making you happier and keeping you strong, but have you ever thought that sports may not be good for your ocular health, there are so many advantages on our health but there are also some disadvantages for ocular health(1), there are some ocular disorders which are related to physical activities.
The patient with pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma may need to avoid some physical activities like jogging(2), running causes unnecessary head movements and jumping, climbing and the activities which required your head movements all are contraindicated, because of head movement the posterior part of iris rub with zonules and because of rubbing, the iris starts losing its pigments which then comes in the anterior chamber through the pupil, and start blocking the trabecular meshwork (which is net like structure). The Trabecular Meshwork facilitates the aqueous (liquid in our eyes) to be drained from the eyes to maintain the normal pressure in eyes however when it’s block so aqueous can’t passing through it and the pressure will increase and start converting into Pigmentary glaucoma. (3)
These restrictions are not only in glaucoma, but there are also many other diseases in which physical activities are contraindicated (4) such as in Marfan syndrome. The upward lens subluxation is a characteristic feature of Marfan syndrome and a contraindication to practising combat sports. Patients should avoid weight training or gym exercises with heavy loads.
Patients with lattice degenerations in the peripheral retina, and after surgical treatment of retinal detachment using the method of scleral buckling, should avoid abrupt head movements. The reason is that vibrations of the vitreous body may cause retinal detachment. After cataract surgery physical activities are contraindicated. In cataract surgery the ciliary zonule is undamaged and the IOL is placed inside the capsular bag, physical exercise and participation in sports should be restricted during the early postoperative period because at this period the postoperative wounds may not yet be completely closed and Under compression, they may easily open, leading to intraocular infection. Consequently, physical activity is not recommended during this period.
In conclusion, while sports provide numerous physical and mental benefits, it is essential to recognise and address the potential downsides they can have on ocular health, so when you have any eye related or any systemic problem you must consult with your doctor for which exercise or physical activities you should avoid, to make your body as well as ocular health better.
- SzalińskI M, Pupka A, Misiuk-Hojło M. Ophthalmic contraindications to sports. Klinika Oczna/Acta Ophthalmologica Polonica. 2021;123(1):14-7.
- Haynes WL, Johnson AT, Alward WL. Effects of jogging exercise on patients with the pigmentary dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma. Ophthalmology. 1992 Jul 1;99(7):1096-103.
- Niyadurupola N, Broadway DC. Pigment dispersion syndrome and pigmentary glaucoma–a major review. Clinical & experimental ophthalmology. 2008 Dec;36(9):868-82.
- Daniel porter. ( aug 2022).when to resume exercise after an eye surgery or injury. american academy of ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/resume-exercise-sports-after-eye-surgery-injury