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retinal tears and exercise
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retinal tears and exercise

My husband had two retinal tears repaired by laser 2 days ago and is still quite anxious about the possibility of more tears or retinal detachment, and about returning to a normal life of physical exercise.  So, my questions:  Are more retinal tears likely?  Is a retinal detachment inevitable?  And, once his 7 day healing period is over, will he be able to return to his two sports - tennis and golf?  I've read several articles that say that strenuous exercise does not play a role in retinal tears / detachments, but "word of mouth" has said otherwise.  Any experiences to relate that might be helpful would be appreciated.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Retinal holes/tears are very common and depending on size, location, personal and family history and the presence or abscense of vitreous traction may not need treatment. If treatment is done additional tears or a retinal detachment could occur but it is much more likely to not occur. It is important for him to follow up regularly with his ophthalmologist for a dilated retina and peripheral retina exam. He should see the Eye MD immediately with sudden increase of floaters, flashes or loss of peripheral vision.

You need to ask he surgeon specifically about activity. As a generalization return to golf and tennis would be allowed by most surgeons after 7-10 days. There is a major risk of eye injury in racquet sports and your husband MUST wear safety sports glasses for his tennis game. (I have seen eyes blinded from tennis injuries).

Quite some time back a survey was taken of retina surgeons about letting their patients return to full activities after retinal detachment surgery (much more extensive than what your husband had). Almost all retina surgeons allowed full activity after a variable period of time (with the more extensive surgery generally several months).

In my practice I tell patients with retinal tears, retinal detachment, high myopia or other risk factors for retinal detachment to avoid amusement park rides (roller coasters and other thrill rides, bumper cars, etc.), boxing, yoga movements where they stand on their heads, gravity boots, and activities that jerk the head violently back and fourth.

Thanks for posting, I hope this answered your question.

JCH MD

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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for such a complete and thoughtful reply to my questions!  You've really put our minds at ease.
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Avatar_f_tn
i just have been diagnosed with lattice degeneration yesterday. none of my other doctors have caught it. i was wondering, can doing eye excercises ( forcing the eye to look far left for 30 seconds, a few times a day) lead to this ailment?
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233488_tn?1310696703
No the eye exercises while likely not beneficial (eye muscles have more than a hundred times the strength to move the eyeball and are not like body skeletal muscles. Better exercise your core body muscles) will not cause lattice. Lattice is found in 6-9% of the population. I have lattice in both eyes.

JCH MD
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Avatar_f_tn
i am so glad it's not my fault. what makes the eye pull away from the retina anyway?, i've been told roller costers are bad for eyes, is this true? i've also been advised to get off caffeine, what does that do?. i'm just scared that i'll wake up one day & loose my sight.
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233488_tn?1310696703
I have lattice and I'm myopic. I avoid roller coasters and amusement rides that whip the head around and subject it to high G's. I advise my highly myopic patients, patients with holes, lattice, a previous RD to avoid them also. Also standing on head (yoga exercises)

Caffeine is NOT bad for the eye; will not make any condition worse.

JHC MD
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