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10.04.2011


Push-ups cause burst blood vessel in retina

When doing push-ups many athletes hold their breath, while their lungs are trying to exhale. When this happens, pressure builds up in the upper body. In an 18-year-old Malaysian man the pressure got so high that he burst a blood vessel in his left eye, and suffered partial sight loss.

Push-ups cause burst blood vessel in retina

Case
Two eye specialists at the University of Malay wrote up the case study in The Lancet. The patient was doing push-ups when he noticed that he'd lost about 90 percent of the sight in his left eye. He had no pain.

When the doctors examined his eye they saw that he had a half-moon shaped haemorrhage in his retina. The bleeding happened in the macula, the most sensitive part of the retina, which enables us to see detail.


Push-ups cause burst blood vessel in retina


Push-ups cause burst blood vessel in retina


The doctors used laser treatment on the eye. After three months the eye looked a lot better, as the photo above shows. The man's field of sight was twice as big, but not completely recovered.

Conclusion
The man had no cardiovascular abnormalities. The doctors put the reason for the haemorrhage down to the way the man did his push-ups. They think that this caused his blood pressure to rise too high. That would suggest that the bleeding wouldn't have happened if the man had had a better breathing technique.

Source:
Lancet. 2011 Feb 5;377(9764):504.

More:
How you can reduce push-up hand pain 04.04.2011
Best push-ups achieved with hands close together 29.04.2010

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