May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
The Effect of Wearing Swimming Goggles on Intraocular Pressure
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • A. Chen
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
  • R. C. Mudumbai
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  A. Chen, None; R.C. Mudumbai, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 1577. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      A. Chen, R. C. Mudumbai; The Effect of Wearing Swimming Goggles on Intraocular Pressure. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1577.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: : To investigate the effect of wearing swimming goggles on intraocular pressure.

Methods: : Fully adjustable TYR tm racing goggles were modified by removing the anterior portion of each lens, thereby allowing intraocular pressure (IOP) to be measured by Goldmann applanation. Assuming a mean initial IOP of 16 mm Hg, a standard deviation (SD) of 3 mm Hg, a power of 0.80, and an alpha of 0.05, at least 20 eyes would have to be studied in order to detect a one-sided 15% increase in IOP. Accordingly, fifteen healthy adult participants (30 eyes) without history of prior ocular surgery and without prior diagnoses of ocular hypertension and glaucoma were recruited. Baseline IOP for each eye was measured using Goldmann applanation and recorded. Participants were then asked to put on the modified goggles, adjust them for reasonable comfort, and wear them for 3 minutes. With the goggles in place, the IOP of each eye was then remeasured using the same Goldmann applanator, and the results were recorded.

Results: : Mean age of participants was 51.5 years. Mean initial IOP was 14.7 mm Hg, SD = 2.6. Mean IOP while wearing goggles for 3 minutes was 18.8 mm Hg, SD = 4.0. Statistically significant mean increase in IOP while wearing goggles was 4.1 mm Hg, SD = 2.6 (P < 0.0001 by one-sided, paired Student's t-test). IOP elevation of at least 6 mm Hg (2 SD) occurred in 23.3% of eyes.

Conclusions: : Previous reports have shown that use of swimming goggles can cause periorbital suction petechiae, bleb extensions in eyes that have undergone trabeculectomies, and increased IOP as measured by Tonopen XL. The results of this study strengthen the conclusion that wearing swimming goggles is associated with increased IOP as measured by Goldmann applanation. Possible mechanisms for IOP elevation include direct soft tissue compression and/or raised episcleral venous pressure. The effects of orbit anatomy and goggle design on this phenomenon and the effect of extended goggle use on IOP remain uncertain. In any case, IOP elevations associated with use of swimming goggles may be significant in children, long-distance/elite swimmers, post-operative patients, and patients with glaucoma.

Keywords: intraocular pressure 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.