According to Geraldo Magela Vieira, MD, and his colleagues, weightlifting may increase eye pressure, thus risk of glaucoma is also enhanced.
Their report was published in the Archives of Ophthalmology.
Vieira and his colleagues at the Institute of Specialized Ophthalmology and UNIPLAC medical school in Brasilia, Brazil carried out a study on 30 healthy young men aged 18-40 (average age: nearly 26) at the health club of the Catholic University of Brasilia.
Initially, the highest amount of weight each person could bench press was determined by the researchers. The average maximum was 145 pounds. Subsequently, the men were made to bench-press 80% of their maximum bench-press weight for 4 times.
On the first three lifts, the men exhaled while lifting the weight and inhaled as they lowered it. On the last lift, they held their breath for around 8 seconds instead of exhaling.
The same was carried out after a short break, but without holding their breath on any of the lifts. The intraocular pressure was measured for each person with an electronic instrument.
It was found that the intraocular pressure increased for 90 % of the men during the hold-your-breath bench-pressing session and for 62 % of them when they didn't hold their breath.
The research team remarked that rise in intraocular pressure might boost glaucoma risk.
However, the study was carried out only once and the subsequent development of glaucoma is not clear. Hence, the study does not prove the statement.
Presently, more research is being done on glaucoma and weightlifting.