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Effects of Swimming Goggles Wearing on Intraocular Pressure, Ocular Perfusion Pressure, and Ocular Pulse Amplitude

Paula, Ana P.B. MSc; Paula, Jayter S. MD, PhD; Silva, Marcelo J.L. MD, PhD; Rocha, Eduardo M. MD, PhD; De Moraes, Carlos G. MD, MPH; Rodrigues, Maria L.V. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000482
Original Studies

Purpose: To evaluate changes in the ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) and ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), and investigate factors associated with intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation due to periorbital compression during swimming goggles (SG) use.

Methods: This cross-sectional study evaluated 35 eyes of 35 healthy volunteers during the wearing of a drilled SG. OPP calculation, Goldman applanation tonometry, and OPA measurements (using Pascal dynamic contour tonometer) were performed before, during, and after SG use. Scleral rigidity (calculated with Schiotz tonometry readings), orbital rim area, exophthalmometry, spherical equivalent, axial length, corneal thickness, and the goggles’ rubber elastic force were considered in the multivariable analysis as potentially related to IOP changes.

Results: SG significantly increased IOP after 2 minutes of use (13.34±2.67 vs. 23.46±7.20 mm Hg, P<0.0001). After removal, IOP decreased significantly (10.20±5.85 mm Hg, P<0.0001). A inverse correlation between IOP and OPP differences was observed with the SG wearing (r=−0.57; P=0.0003). Mean OPA was significantly higher during compared with before SG wear (2.57±1.34 vs. 1.82±0.55 mm Hg for the timepoints 2 and 1, respectively; P=0.0064). Only orbital rim area (P=0.0052) and elastic force (P=0.0019) were significantly associated with IOP elevation.

Conclusions: SG provoked acute IOP elevation and disturbance in the ocular hemodynamics, which was associated with larger orbital rim area and greater SG elastic force. These findings could have implications for subjects at high risk for glaucoma onset or progression.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University Medical Centre, New York, NY

Supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—FAPESP).

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Jayter S. Paula, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes, 3900/12° Andar, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo CEP 14049-900, Brazil (e-mail:

Received February 8, 2016

Accepted June 4, 2016

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.