We studied the intraocular pressure response to short-term maximal aerobic exertion before and after exercise conditioning in ten healthy sedentary volunteers. Before exercise conditioning, mean intraocular pressure ± S.E.M. decreased by 5.9 ± 0.6 mm Hg after short-term maximal aerobic exercise, returning to baseline in a mean of 37 ± 4 minutes. After four months of exercise conditioning, this ocular hypotensive response was significantly dampened, with a mean intraocular pressure reduction of only 1.6 ± 0.4 mm Hg after short-term maximal aerobic exercise (P<.01). Additionally, a significant reduction in baseline intraocular pressure occurred, with a mean intraocular pressure of 14.3 ± 0.7 mm Hg before exercise conditioning, declining to a mean intraocular pressure of 13 ± 0.9 mm Hg (P<.02) after four months of physical training. Exercise conditioning may significantly reduce baseline intraocular pressure and attenuate the hypotensive response to short-term maximal aerobic exercise.
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