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Can Pumping Iron Lead to Blindness?

April 02, 2014 2 min read

1958131_770769056275760_333976035_n   You may want to get an eye exam after reading this post. In 2006, a study once revealed that lifting weights can harm your eyes. Say what? How so? The act of holding one's breath or straining while lifting can lead to eye disease & blindness because it increases the ocular pressure within the eye. Weightlifters eyes are constantly under stress due to all that huffing and puffing. Think about when you cough or vomit-you immediately feel the pressure in your face. Apparently, according to these new reports, lifting weights create the same type of pressure. Now, there's a new study that's been revealed that supports the original claim that lifting weights does in fact increase your chance for eye problems over time, mainly the condition Glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when the liquid, called aqueous, in the eye does not drain as it should. Over time, the fluid can build up causing pressure within you eye and your optic nerve which shuts off your ability to see. By lifting weights or doing any other type of activities that encourage pressure build-up within the eye (playing wind musical instruments is another), you increase that chance of damaging those optic nerves further or developing the first stages of the Glaucoma disease. What can you do to avoid any risks? Scientists state, "breathe normally" during your lifting and do not skip any breaths to keep your ocular pressure from rising too high. Keep in mind that Glaucoma is hereditary, but such activities can worsen your condition if you are already at risk. But do not worry! Lifting weights does not automatically cause your eyes to give out. It supposedly only occurs with prolonged lifting over the years. So lift on! (and don't skip any eye exams anytime soon) Photo credit: Oregon Eye Center

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