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do floaters improve with exercise?
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do floaters improve with exercise?

This may be nothing but I have noticed that my floaters are much less noticeable after a good sweaty bout of exercise. It's probably best for me after a long hard swimming session which I do a lot of but is also noticeable after weight training. If I do not work out for a day or two, I tend to become aware of them much more. But after I walk out of the gym after a swim, I feel as if my eyes are as clear as day and it feels great. I just wondered if anybody else has noticed this. It's often stated that exercise can lead to increased pressure in the eye and that it is a bad thing (RD etc) but could this be a good thing for some vitreous problems? This could all be psychological and may be related to the fact that I am VERY anxious without exercise in my life but I'm convinced it's real. This is still a good thing nonetheless but is there any physiological basis?

Note that single bouts of exercise have profound BENEFICIAL effects on physiology and metabolism and especially the vascular system so it may not be too far fetched. I am often angered by people and doc's who are quick to dismiss exercise as dangerous for many retina conditions because of the pressure increase but there is almost NO evidence to support this (except maybe valsava retinopathy). I am a molecular biologist who works in the field of diabetes research and have spent many years investigating the miraculous benefits that regular exercise brings to type 2 diabetics. Could this be true of retina problems also?  

(by the way, I do freestyle so I am head down in the water for a good 1 - 1.5 h. There must be a link here :))  
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I have no professional opinion, but I do know that if I am totally involved in any physical or mental activity that my floaters seem to disappear.  I attribute this to my concern being diverted.  

I would suggest this might be what is happening when you exercise.
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203589_tn?1267478770
Namrhew, is correct.
You perceive that the appearance of floaters diminishes w/ exercise b/c your attention is so focused on the task at hand.
Generally, w/ time floaters should settle down to the bottom of the eye and be out of your line of sight. Or your brain will just learn to ignore them. During bouts of swimming or other strenuous mental and/or physical tasks the brain is ignoring the floaters.

However, w/ that said, exercising is beneficial to the eye and the rest of the body.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yeh I agree with what both of you are saying and I think that is the most likely explanation. However, the effect tends to last a day or so. It is not a permanent solution. So I am just interested to know whether the transient rise in IOP with various types of exercise could be beneficial to floaters?

Why oh why is there not more opthlamology research. If, in diabetes, we were able to visualise the pancreas, our job would be a lot easier. I can't help thinking that opthlamology research is slower than most. I mean, they were using stem cells in rodents successfully over 5 years ago!!! Where are the large human trials? Avastin was only found because of a brave doc who had nothing to lose. It looks as though this could save many myopes and ARMD patients from losing their site. More research please.
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233488_tn?1310696703
Eye research is among the most advanced there is. There are more scientific citations based on the human genome project in ophthalmology than any other science. One of the first gene transplants to cure a herediatry disease was done in the last 6 months by ophthalmologists. Cataract and IOL surgery is the most successful sugery done world-wide. Fantastic strides have been made int he treatment of both dry and wet macular deneneration. Diabetic retinopathy has used to mean blindness and now is treated very successfully.  Macular surgery was unknown two decades ago. Refractive surgery was unknown thirty years ago and has freed many from glasses. Contact lens have had startling developments to the present daily wear disposable CTLS. Botox has been used to treat blepharospasm and strabismus. Laser therapy for glaucoma is bringing hope to 3rd world countries.

Against the spectrum of people going blind its easy to see why scare research resources are directed towards preventing blindness and not towards the common floater which is annoyinb but doesn't cause blindness.

You want to further medical eye research. Send some money to Research To Prevent Blindness.

JCH MD
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Avatar_n_tn
In the gene therapy study, only 6 people were treated and 4 gained vision. It's a "simple" monogenic disorders and they are extremely rare. The tougher polygenic ones (RP, myopia etc) will never be amenable to this kind of treatment. It's a start, true, but we all know gene therapies history and it seems unlikely to work out in the long term. Note there was only a 6 month follow up. This is false hope to millions who think they will benefit from these kind of studies and don't understand the research.  Diabetic retinopathy is almost completely preventable with good glucose control and is probably more related to advances in that area than in direct treatment otpions, per se. The strides in wet AMD are a result of off-label use of a CANCER drug and the adverse events associated with refractive surgery are ridiculous and we don't even know the long-term effects. Macular surgery I agree but it seems it is only really done as a last resort (macular translocaion etc).

Eye research is amongst the most advanced? I would disagree strongly. Where is the myopia research? This is the most common eye disorder in the world and yet the best that has come up so far is atropine shots? It's almost laughable. I'm not saying it's any worse than any other field though. There is always a lack of money.  
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Avatar_n_tn
When in the pool, I can see floaters more clearly underwater. Unless I’m trying to swim like Michael Phelps! And my attention is diverted to getting oxygen into my lungs.

Common sense tells us the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks, physiologically and psychologically.

btw, my retina was torn immediately after a swim. Probably happened while swimming. I still swim. Maybe that's why my floaters still swimming around, and not sink to the bottom!
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Yeh my floaters are more obvious under water too, especially when swimming outside in the sun. I'm sure the swimming and torn retina was just a coincidence. I have checked to see if there is any risk of swimming and could not find a single reference to it. Googles do raise IOP though so is not advised for glaucoma but I'm not sure I buy that. I'm sure having a shower raises your IOP somewhat lol!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Googles?????? I meant goGGles obviously.
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233488_tn?1310696703
You gOOfed.

JCH MD
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