Aim: To examine the acute effects of wearing swimming goggles upon intraocular pressure (IOP).
Methods: This research consisted of a Pilot study and a Validation study. Holes were drilled into the faces of 13 different goggles to allow IOP measurement by applanation tonometry. IOP was measured before goggle wear, 2 minutes after goggle application, 20 minutes after goggle application and after goggle removal. The Pilot study (n = 15) was initially performed to investigate changes in IOP whilst wearing 5 different types of swimming goggles. Anatomical and goggle design parameters from the Pilot study were then used to generate a predictive model and design a Validation study (n = 20). The Validation study tested the predictive model, examined IOP changes using another 8 goggles and clarified whether IOP changes were sustained for the duration of goggle wear.
Results: IOP increased whilst wearing goggles by a mean pressure of 4.5mmHg (sd 3.7, P < 0.001) with this pressure rise being sustained for the duration of goggle wear. A smaller goggle face area (P = 0.013), was consistently associated with greater IOP elevation.
Conclusion: These measurements were not taken while swimming, however they suggest that some swimming goggles can elevate IOP.
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