Retinal Detachment?

So I’ve been doing 5/3/1 for the past 6 months with great results. Before that I had been lifting heavy with sets of 5. Anyway, I’m at high risk for retinal detachment because I’m very nearsighted. Last week after being at the gym I started seeing floaters and flashes of light in my right eye.

Got it checked and it was Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD). The geell in the eye detaches from the back of the eye, causing the floaters, and pull on the retina, causing the flashes. I did some reasearch and theres some studies that shows heavy lifting increases iteroccular pressure and its theorized that it can accelerate retinal detachment.

My Dr. told me to “curtail” my activites. Keep in mind he doesn’t lift. I was just wondering if anybody knew anything about this. I’m seeing a retinal specialist in 3 weeks so I’m hoping I can get more answers then. Until then I wont be lifting heavy…

Anything in particular you want to know?

Floaters & flashes are a herald of symptomatic PVD. Population incidence of retinal tears following a symptomatic PVD as per the textbooks is about 7-8%. I think most front-line eye docs would probably dispute that and estimate it much, much lower. (Easily half that percentage, if not less.) Having written this, it is definitely seen more commonly in high myopes.

Yep, heavy lifting can increase intraoc pressure, yep, probably not a good thing to be doing if somebody hasn’t looked at your retina closely. (Although let’s face it, large multinational trials on how quickly retinal detachments extend in nearsighted people who lift vs people who don’t, aren’t going to be easy to come by.)

What it boils down to is who saw you and who diagnosed you with a PVD? Fundamentally, the gold standard diagnostically is dilatation followed by indirect ophthalmoscopy with indentation. i.e. some eye doc stuck a funny looking thing on his head with a bright light held a lens in front of your eye and pressed hard on your eyeball with a paper clip/fancy indenter. Technically you can get almost as good an examination (but not quite) with a microscope and a contact lens. High myopes can potentially strip the retina off the back of the eye quite quickly, and if somebody hasn’t done at least one of the two above to you to diagnose it, then somebody ought to, sooner than 3 weeks. The degree of myopia is important because the more nearsighted you are, the thinner your retina is, and the more likely it is to develop a hole after a PVD.

The most important thing for you to look out for is a curtain coming across your vision from any direction. (i.e. patch of your vision that you can’t see, and you check it by covering one eye and then the other) If you have that, you need to find an eyedoc quickly. The floaters are going to be yours to keep, but do tend to settle down a little as the gel breaks up further, they fall down with gravity, and your brain gets used to them. (You’ll notice them more in bright sunlight & against light backgrounds) The flashing lights should settle, but can take some time to. Ongoing flashing lights imply some tug on the retina. I have come across eye docs who believe that as long as there are flashing lights activity should be curtailed… but frankly, these people are very much a fringe opinion. The vast majority would probably have a second look and give you their blessing.

The final thing to mention is that PVD’s may be incomplete, i.e. that they may occur in stages. So any new symptoms (i.e. a further increase in flashing lights or floaters or any curtain coming across your vision) you should seek out medical advice again as it may mean that more of the gel has come off the back of the eye. (And hence the retina needs to be rechecked for holes/tears.) Otherwise, on the positive side, when they do complete and you don’t have any holes in your retina, your risk for retinal detachment in that eye drops considerably. (Although it doesn’t disappear entirely.)

If I were a high myope, and it were my eye… I wouldn’t lift heavy until after somebody had a damn good look at my eye with the aforementioned hat and indenter. (Although the microscope with a contact lens is good, it’s not as good, and I’d be inclined to have the best examination possible in view of the concomitant nearsightedeness risk.) Thereafter you can go crazy. (Being mindful of the above paragraph…) Having written this, the likelihood that the hattie & indenter will pick up a tear that could not be found on examination by microscope & contact lens, is reasonably small, and continuing to lift after a microscope & CL examination would be a calculated risk.

Hope that helps.


Best reason to start an account ever.

i thought this said “rectal Detachment”, all that excitement for nothing.

[quote]Kerley wrote:
i thought this said “rectal Detachment”, all that excitement for nothing.


Would you call that an aloof asshole?

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]Kerley wrote:
i thought this said “rectal Detachment”, all that excitement for nothing.


Would you call that an aloof asshole?[/quote]

well done sir!