LEI study finds no link between swimming goggles and glaucoma

Reporting in the British Medical Journal, LEI managing director Professor David Mackey said previous studies had found a small but significant transient increase in intraocular pressure – a risk factor in the development of glaucoma in people wearing certain types of swimming goggles.
However the studies found that the increase was maintained while the goggles were on but returned to normal levels as soon as they were taken off.
“These past findings suggested that wearing goggles could represent a significant risk factor for developing or worsening of glaucoma in people who swim regularly,” Professor Mackey said.
“We performed comprehensive eye examinations on 231 mbers of local swimming clubs and 118 non-swimmers,” he said.
“Their IOP and retinal nerve fibre layer thickness were measured, with the result that we did not detect any new cases of glaucoma in our cohort of frequent swimmers.
“We also found no difference in the thickness of the retinal nerve fibre layers between swimmers and non-swimmers.”
The research team concluded that frequent use of swimming goggles did not lead to an increased risk of glaucoma over time in adults.

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