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High myopia and tennis

Hello I am a 31 years old male with high myopia(both eyes over 1000). I has LASIK surgery 3 years ago and result is very good. I give up basketball because of concern of any possibility of retinal tear or detachment. Now I am considering to learn playing tennis. My question is for my individual case or generally speaking can high myopia person like me play tennis? Thank you very much.
33 Responses
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Tennis is fine as long as you wear athletic frames to protect your eyes. Basketball would also be okay as long as you wear proper eye protection. Regular glasses and frames are not adequate eye protection. Prescription or non prescription athletic eye protection are not expensive.

JCH III MD
Avatar universal
Thank you very much Doctor!
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
You are welcome.

JCH III MD
Avatar universal
Hi doctor I am sorry to bother you again because I very carefully concern safety of my high myopia eyes with LASIK history. I have heard of stories that some persons with high myopia get retina detachment because of sudden and violent muscle movement. You know in tennis we often heavily hit the ball by using arm's muscle. Can it have impact of eys's muscle and therefore affect retina. The reason I ask this question is that when I have sudden & heavy sneeze OR quickly roll over my eye in the dark I can see "stars" or flash, which means eye muscle mechanically pull retina? Pls kindly give professional and scientific advice. Thank you so much.
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
First I would suggest you ask the question of your present ophthalmologist.  If you were my patient I would allow you to play tennis.  Remember that retinal surgeons generally do not put physical limitations on sports like tennis and running after retinal detachment surgery. There are published papers on that.

The eye images you see with rapid eyemovement in a darked adapted state are normal and come from the eye muscles tugging on the retina and are a type of entopic phenomena.

There is also no increased rate of retinal detachment in tennis players, runners, only in boxers and in people hit in the eye (fist, feet, racquets, balls, etc).

JCH III MD
Avatar universal
Hi Doctor, after getting your advice I went to see my local ophthalmologist and learned more knowledge through Medhelp.org. Thank you so much to set up this website and offer us such an easy access to personal health care information.

One more question regarding the light flash in the dark after my occasional rapid eye movement. You know PVD may mechanically pull retina then cause tear or even detachment. If such activities as big sneeze, rapid eye movement can make eye muscles tug on retina, do you think high myopia person (both more than 1,000 before operation) with LASIC history like me should, I mean from prudent perspective, try best to avoid or intentionally reduce those kind of activities which can lead to mechanical pull of tetina. OR it is normal and i don't need to have anxiety.

I know I could be extreme risk adverse man, however I have no choice because of my eye situation and my responsibility for my family. You know I can't imagine if I get retina detachment, How can I make career and care my family (i am 31 years old). I want to understand as much as possible to preventively control that risk. Meanwhile in China many doctors maybe don't have enough knowledge and cases to support their diagnostic.

I will go USA to work for a period of time. Do you think i can have one comprehensive eye check and conduct 360 retina problems assessment. I really need one complete checklist to tell me how i need to take care of my eyes from preventive, detective and corrective ways in both work and life.

Thank you so much Doctor. I know this is too long message and consume you time.
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
1. PVD's are caused by liquification of the vitreous gel and loss of internal support. Use you eyes all you want and don't worry. Rapid back and fourth movements like watching a ping-pong or tennis match will not hurt the eyes.   Avoid amusement type rides like roller coasters that jerk the head back and fourth and subject the eyes to high gravity loads.

When you come to the US of course you can see a retina specialist for dilated eye exam. By luck I played golf today with a Eye MD ophthalmologist that last year went to China to teach medical students (his speciality is glaucoma). He was impressed at the major eye centers in Bejing about the competence and training of the Chinese physicians he met. Of course he did not get out to the smaller cities and rural provicences.



JCH III MD
Avatar universal
Thank you so much Doctor. Your advice is of much help!
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
__________________
Avatar universal
Hi Doctor, my brief eye profile is: 31 years old male. LASIK surgery 3+ years ago and result is very good. Both eyes are over -1000 myopia before operation.From 2004 to now totally had about 6-8 times of dilated eye exam and both retinas are good.

Some quick questions about PVD for your profession advice

1. Is that true that I can't do anything to reasonably prevent or delay occurrence of PVD?  It is all by God and personal luck?

2. Can PVD be medically diagnosed and treated? If yes based on my personal eye profile what would your recommendations be about eye exam frequency? I am a risk adverse person and very concerned eye health. I am willing to invest money and time to do detection from the most prudent perspective.

3. If conducing dilated eye exam every 3 or 6 months does it hurt eyes or have serious side effect?

4. Besides medical check, from individual aspect what I can do to have very timely detection for PVD or the warning symptoms? You know if PVD occurs right within interval between 2 checks I really need to do it myself.

5. From PVD to possible retinal tear then to retinal detachment what is the average interval time? I saw one of your comments about PVD in another thread and you said TIMING is very key to have medical treatment.

6. Is there any kind of formal or informal descriptive statistics about what percentage of people with high myopia would have PVD / retinal tear / retinal detachment?

7. Now I am fine, however I would like to know what I need to do if I get possible retinal tear or detachment. I mean the emergency plan, especially on business travel / out of big town with good medical conditions or even at night there is no good retinal specialist in hospital available within 12 hrs.

8. From corrective perspective if I can have timely medical treatment for possible retinal tear or even detachment what would be the final result of vision recovery? Usually good or not very good based on current skills and technology. Furthermore the cost and recovery timeframe?

Thanks a million Doctor for your time. I know it is a long list.
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
1. PVD are a function of age and often degree of myopia. You can't prevent them.
2. PVD can be diagnosed but there is no treatment for them.
3. No
4. Most PVDs are assymptomatic and don't cause symptoms. You need to go in with sudden increase of floaters, flashes of light like lightening or loss of peripheral vision.
5. Very, very few PVDs lead to retinal detachment. The greatest risk of a RD or retinal tear is in the first 6-8 weeks from when the PVD begins.
6. You can do on line searches and pull up different series. The risk of RD in a highly myopic patient that has not had cataract surgery is roughly 1 in 500 to 1 in 1000
7. No way I can answer that since you might be in a country with good medical care or in a country without a retinal specialist.
8. Some retinal detachments cannot be repaired perhaps 3-4% and lead to blindness. The retina may be put back in place and it may not recover normal vision or it may recover completely. It depends a lot on whether the macula is pulled off or not. Cost and recovery are too variable to even give you a ball park figure.

JCH III MD
Avatar universal
Thanks a lot Doctor for your quick and professional advice. Appreciate it very much.
Avatar universal
Sorry Doctor, in the No. 2 question above would you please tell what should be my best eye & retinal exam frequency (3, 6 or ? months) based on my profile: 31 years old male. LASIK surgery 3+ years ago and result is very good. Both eyes are over -1000 myopia before operation. From 2004 to now totally had about 6-8 times of dilated eye exam and both retinas are good.
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Unless your ophthalmologist tells you differently once/year.
Avatar universal
Got it. Thank you very much Doctor.
Avatar universal
Got it. Thank you very much Doctor.
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Your are welcome.

JCH IIIMD
Avatar universal
Doctor yesterday one of my friends also with high myopia in US (both eyes over -1000) sent me one link of website "www.sightwise.org", which was built up by one US 45 y/o engineer/consultant who experienced RD in 1999. Through this website I got a little PD anxiety. Can you kindly help provide answers for following questions:

1. Through the web "If you're very nearsighted* & over 40 (maybe younger) you are more susceptible to Detached Retina-You have a 1 in 20 (5%) chance in your life time versus 1 in 10,000 for the general population".       Is that true based on the scientific research?  It is said the result is from the following paper:    

http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic504.htm

2. Some 28 y/o young male reported he got RD when jogging and another woman reported RD case because of one big sneeze. It is terrible.

Do you think I should give up jogging and swimming Doctor? I have given up basketball and tennis because prudent concern of future RD. What shall I do?

3. In you high myopia patients are there someones with over - 1000 and 50 y/o not experiencing RD and maintain good health status of retina? I know no guarantee from doctors. I just don't want to be so desperate. Do I still have chance to stay away from RD? I am 31 y/o male with both eyes high myopia over -1000.

Thank you so much Doctor. I am really sorry to bother you several times.
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
1. That is what that paper says although there is no specific paper cited that these figures came from. I would believe a figure of 2-5% for > 6.00 diopter of myopia.
2. I believe that is a coincidence rather tha a cause.
3. Look at the figures optomistically, even accepting the figure you cite you have a 95% of NOT having a retinal detachment. If you do have a retinal detachment there is a 95% chance that it can be successfully reattached.

JCH III MD
Avatar universal
Thanks Doctor, based on your comment 5 questions:

1.   My both eyes are over 10.00 diopter myopia before LASIC in 2004. In your opinion do you think I can (1) jogging; (2) swimming BUT NOT diving; (3) playing golf.

2.   One of my big concern is whether RD has any preceding symptom or signal that we can detect through regular (saying every 6 months) dilated eye exam OR felt by myself (for example see light flash in the dark even if there is no rapid eye movement)?     My anxiety is some RD comes suddently without any preceding signal and I really need a well defined emergency plan to act ASAP.         I know I am a little nervous. Pls kindly understand I have a good family, wife and will have my baby soon. Realisticly I can't accept serious eye problem before 50 or 60 y/o. I need to support and care my family instead of burdening them.

3.   Also I guess the ratio of 2-5% is for the population of >6.00 diopter myopia. Statistically if the population only include people with over 10.00 myopia (like my case) will the ratio be much higher than that? Based on your professional knowledge and experience is the ratio significantly correlated with degree of myopia dipoter? OR all those 5% RD patients evenly distribute in each group, I mean 6.00, 7,00, 8,00, 9,00, 10,00 etc.

4.   One maybe naive question. In you high myopia patients are there someones with over - 10.00 BUT not experiencing RD and maintain good health status of retina, even they could be old people over 50 y/o?

5.  I will be in New York City next month and really want to find a retina specialist and MD to have 360 exam and assessment for my eyes. Can you kindly recommend the clinic and doctor or weblink?

Tons of thanks!!
Avatar universal
You could try www.castleconnolly.com to locate a retinal specialist in NYC.  For a nominal fee, you will have access to a data base of specialists who were nominated by other docs as someone that they'd see themselves or send a family member to see.

I believe that both long eyes and steep corneas can cause high myopia, although it's just the long eyes that are related to a higher probability of retinal detachment.  And 10 diopters of myopia doesn't sound all that bad to me.  There have been recent posts on this forum from people with more than 20 diopters of myopia.  Based on the above statistics, your chances of having a retinal detachment that cannot be reattached is only .0025 percent (i.e., extremely low), and you'd still have another eye.  This is probably much lower than your chances of being hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street.  I think you're worrying too much--just about everyone's at a higher risk for some condition.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for your kind help Jodie. I appreciate it very much.

Dear Doctor JH can you also kindly provide your advice for my questions above?
233488 tn?1310696703
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
1. Jogging, swimming and golf--three of my favorite activites are fine for you.
2. I think for most people if a thorough dilated retina exam shows no suspicious areas and the Retinal physician agrees that once a year is enough. HOWEVER you are so anxious about this that the reassurance of an exam every 6 months may be worth it to your peace of mind.
3. The rate of RD is not proportional to the degree of myopia in a linear or predicable way. I don't think there are any studies of retinal detachment in myopia >10.00 diopters. You may be able to find one if you spend enough time.
4. Most patients (>51%) of my 10+ diopter myopes have good vision no RD and no macular degeneration
5. New York City has lots of excellent retina ophthalmologists and lots of excellent medical schools and also Manhattan Eye & Ear which is arguably probably the best known.

JCH III MD
Avatar universal
Thanks a lot Doctor. Your professional advice really really relieve my anxiety.  I am so sorry to bother you too much. Again thanks a million.

All best wishes to you and Medhelp.org!!!
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