Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Aerobic exercise and intraocular pressure in normotensive and glaucoma patients

Konstantinos Natsis1, Irene Asouhidou12*, George Nousios3, Theodosios Chatzibalis4, Konstantinos Vlasis1 and Vasilios Karabatakis4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anatomy, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

2 2nd Department of Anaesthesiology "G.Papanikolaou" Regional Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

3 Laboratory of Anatomy, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences (Serres), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

4 Laboratory of Experimental Ophthalmology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

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BMC Ophthalmology 2009, 9:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-9-6

Published: 13 August 2009



With the increasing number of people participating in physical aerobic exercise, jogging in particular, we considered that it would be worth knowing if there are should be limits to the exercise with regard to the intraocular pressure (IOP) of the eyes. The purpose of this study is to check IOP in healthy and primary glaucoma patients after aerobic exercise.


145 individuals were subdivided into seven groups: normotensives who exercised regularly (Group A); normotensives in whose right eye (RE) timolol maleate 0.5% (Group B), latanoprost 0.005% (Group C), or brimonidine tartrate 0.2% (Group D) was instilled; and primary glaucoma patients under monotherapy with β-blockers (Group E), prostaglandin analogues (Group F) or combined antiglaucoma treatment (Group G) instilled in both eyes. The IOP of both eyes was measured before and after exercise.


A statistically significant decrease was found in IOP during jogging. The aerobic exercise reduces the IOP in those eyes where a b-blocker, a prostaglandin analogue or an α-agonist was previously instilled. The IOP is also decreased in glaucoma patients who are already under antiglaucoma treatment.


There is no ocular restriction for simple glaucoma patients in performing aerobic physical activity.