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The Effects of Physical Exercises on Ocular Physiology

A Review

Wylęgała, Adam MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000454
Online Articles: Original Studies

Sport has been known to be one of the most important factors in preventing cardiovascular disorders; some studies suggest its role in preventing neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses the results of various studies regarding the effects of physical exercises on intraocular pressure (IOP), myopia, certain physical parameters of the eye, ocular blood flow, and retinal electrical function. Although dynamic exercises are known to reduce IOP from 1.2 to 5.9 mm Hg only for a short period of time, uncertainty persists about whether isometric exercises or activities such as yoga can increase IOP up to 16.7 mm Hg. There has been an established connection between the time being spent outdoor and reduction in the odds of myopia—2% less odds for every hour spent outdoor. Physical activity and the level of physical fitness have an impact on the changes of b-wave electroretinogram and P100. Physical exercises increase perfusion pressure up to 190% baseline and also increase choroidal blood flow up to 140%, thus providing more blood to retina. Sport-induced change on visual field is a subject of controversy. Majority of patients show a better ocular physiological function due to sports and sports are thus considered essential for preventing common ocular diseases. Further research should focus more on long-term effects of sport-induced changes in ocular physiology and newly discovered techniques may be utilized for such purposes.

*Ophthalmology Clinic, Railway Hospital

School of Medicine with the Division of Dentistry in Zabrze, Silesian Medical University, Katowice, Poland

Disclosure: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Adam Wylęgała, MD, PhD, Ophthalmology Clinic, Railway Hospital, Panewnicka 65, 40765 Katowice, Poland (e-mail:

Received August 21, 2015

Accepted May 10, 2016

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