Retinal degeneration and heavy lifting Retinal degeneration and heavy lifting

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Thread: Retinal degeneration and heavy lifting

  1. #1
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    Smile Retinal degeneration and heavy lifting

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    Hi,
    I lately experienced some little quick flash in my right eye'. I went to the doc and she told I've signs of retinal degeneration (in my right eye), the situation isn't worse then in my last visit in 2007. She advised me not to go to the gym or lifting heavy for 10-15 days (obviously also other things).
    I'm pissed off because my training is going so well right now, hitting new Pr and I wouldn't stop but I don't want to risk anything. Advises are welcome, quick since I have Deadlift tomorrowhttps://startingstrength.com/resources/forum/images/icons/icon7.png
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    David, I am completely I unqualified to attempt any response, so more of a question to satisfy my curiosity. Who diagnosed your retinal degen, your GP or optician? Is there pain involved in the optical nerve when the ffash occurs? Do you have high BP, or a family history of stoke or brain aneurism?

  3. #3
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    Four years ago I started getting flashes in my eye. Ophthalmologist (actually a retinal specialist) diagnosed it asposterior vitreous detachment. Despite the sinister (and yes it was in my left eye) sounding name, it is actually quite common as people age. When the the process is complete the flashing subsides. Didn't change my vision or eyeglass prescription one bit. In a small percentage of people it can rip the retina while it is in progress. That's why I went to a retinal specialist. Fortunately I did not have that problem.

    Never had to change my lifting because of it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyGun View Post
    David, I am completely I unqualified to attempt any response, so more of a question to satisfy my curiosity. Who diagnosed your retinal degen, your GP or optician? Is there pain involved in the optical nerve when the ffash occurs? Do you have high BP, or a family history of stoke or brain aneurism?
    Hi and thanks,
    I was visited by an optician. There is no pain or better there was no pain since these little flash seem now to have stopped. I have no family history of those diseases.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Culican View Post
    Four years ago I started getting flashes in my eye. Ophthalmologist (actually a retinal specialist) diagnosed it asposterior vitreous detachment. Despite the sinister (and yes it was in my left eye) sounding name, it is actually quite common as people age. When the the process is complete the flashing subsides. Didn't change my vision or eyeglass prescription one bit. In a small percentage of people it can rip the retina while it is in progress. That's why I went to a retinal specialist. Fortunately I did not have that problem.

    Never had to change my lifting because of it.
    Hi,
    this exactly what my optician explained to me. She said the retinal degeneration I have does not cause retinal rip but the process of vitreous detachment could. She told me to call her if I see those flashes again (more then before eventually) and other symptoms she explained AND not to hit the gym for a couple of weeks.
    I'm a little worried because I'm going through one of those happy and satisying periods of lifting, you know, when you're progressing well and everything seems just working fine, that I wouldn't like to stop for 2 weeks. I think I'll go today and deadlift as usual. I hope not to make a foolish choice.
    Thanks a lot for stopping by.

    P.s. How could I ask to Dr. Sullivan?

  6. #6
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    I think the lifting thing is Doctor specific. My ophthalmologist participated in triathlons so he was not one to tell you to cut your activity back. Other doctors maybe thinking that they should tell you to take it easy because, why take a chance.

    I tried to research a little bit myself and I don't think there have been a whole lot of studies done on heavy exercise and how it influences posterior vitreous detachment.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Masini View Post
    Hi,
    this exactly what my optician explained to me. She said the retinal degeneration I have does not cause retinal rip but the process of vitreous detachment could. She told me to call her if I see those flashes again (more then before eventually) and other symptoms she explained AND not to hit the gym for a couple of weeks.
    I'm a little worried because I'm going through one of those happy and satisying periods of lifting, you know, when you're progressing well and everything seems just working fine, that I wouldn't like to stop for 2 weeks. I think I'll go today and deadlift as usual. I hope not to make a foolish choice.
    Thanks a lot for stopping by.

    P.s. How could I ask to Dr. Sullivan?
    i wouldn't f with it - take your time off - none of us making money on this stuff - it just isn't that important.

    I had a retina detachment last year ( September) out of the blue - no warning, no risk factors. After surgery, stayed out of gym for 3 months per doctor's orders. Doc cleared me for heavy lifting after the 3 mos and strength comes back pretty quickly -even after that layoff...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by old guy View Post
    i wouldn't f with it - take your time off - none of us making money on this stuff - it just isn't that important.

    I had a retina detachment last year ( September) out of the blue - no warning, no risk factors. After surgery, stayed out of gym for 3 months per doctor's orders. Doc cleared me for heavy lifting after the 3 mos and strength comes back pretty quickly -even after that layoff...
    Yes, that's a choice of wisdom. Hit the gym today and I cut intensity and volume a little. Take a week off and see what happens. No flashes anyway.
    Thanks I really appreciate all your comments.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Masini View Post
    Yes, that's a choice of wisdom. Hit the gym today and I cut intensity and volume a little. Take a week off and see what happens. No flashes anyway.
    Thanks I really appreciate all your comments.
    I have had two PVD's within a year. Both had minor retinal tears, emergency visits to the retinal surgeon, both repaired in the office. It's very obvious when the retina tears because your eye fills with blood in addition to the flashes. (Most humans will have virtual detachments before they die and most won't notice when it happens). In my case, however, both have left my vision with a fair bit of debris. Best described as looking through a dirty windshield that you can't clean. Refractive vision has returned to what it had been. A vitrectomy (removal and replacement of the vitreous), can be effective but does require a long activity free recovery. My Dr's have recommended to not do it and to give it a few YEARS to clear by itself.

    Both times i was released for lifting immediately. Two of the three retinal surgeons (same practice) convincingly said that the pressure from valsalva or muscle contraction DOES NOT put pressure on the retina. A third surgeon said to cease activities for a few weeks but when I asked why, he said that what he always says. When I explained I was training for competition he said, avoid explosive olympic lifts, impact sports (e.g. boxing), and jarring exercises like running but lifting was ok.

    As far as I can tell, retina detachments (different than tear, but tears can become detachments) are commonly caused by car accidents, and blows to the head, as well as certain genetic conditions and diseases. There is no consensus (and no surprise) very little knowledge when it comes to strength training. The generic recommendation for anything eye related, WEB MD etc, is to cease activities for some period. My feeling is that this is a CYA answer and most people are inactive anyway.

    PVD and other eye issues have been discussed elsewhere on the board, but no strong consensus.

    I share your frustration. It is your vision - an important thing- but I made a personal decision to continue training and competing. Ultimately you will have to do the same and there is no right answer. Sorry.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Charles View Post
    I have had two PVD's within a year. Both had minor retinal tears, emergency visits to the retinal surgeon, both repaired in the office. It's very obvious when the retina tears because your eye fills with blood in addition to the flashes. (Most humans will have virtual detachments before they die and most won't notice when it happens). In my case, however, both have left my vision with a fair bit of debris. Best described as looking through a dirty windshield that you can't clean. Refractive vision has returned to what it had been. A vitrectomy (removal and replacement of the vitreous), can be effective but does require a long activity free recovery. My Dr's have recommended to not do it and to give it a few YEARS to clear by itself.

    Both times i was released for lifting immediately. Two of the three retinal surgeons (same practice) convincingly said that the pressure from valsalva or muscle contraction DOES NOT put pressure on the retina. A third surgeon said to cease activities for a few weeks but when I asked why, he said that what he always says. When I explained I was training for competition he said, avoid explosive olympic lifts, impact sports (e.g. boxing), and jarring exercises like running but lifting was ok.

    As far as I can tell, retina detachments (different than tear, but tears can become detachments) are commonly caused by car accidents, and blows to the head, as well as certain genetic conditions and diseases. There is no consensus (and no surprise) very little knowledge when it comes to strength training. The generic recommendation for anything eye related, WEB MD etc, is to cease activities for some period. My feeling is that this is a CYA answer and most people are inactive anyway.

    PVD and other eye issues have been discussed elsewhere on the board, but no strong consensus.

    I share your frustration. It is your vision - an important thing- but I made a personal decision to continue training and competing. Ultimately you will have to do the same and there is no right answer. Sorry.
    I thank you very much for your experience that gave me some very good info. Yes, in the end one has to make a personal choice and accept what comes after that. I think that the general advice to stay away from any strenuous activity is a wise advice 'cause it is safer anyway but I now understand that nobody really knows if lifting weights is ok or not. My left eye, my optician told me, had the same retinal degeneration but it healed by itself, my right retina seems to be different in its own nature. I'll take it easy for a while, not quitting the gym, untill I'll feel sure that anything is going to happen. Thanks a lot again for your words.

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