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stopping intense exercise may help reduce bleeds

Alex's picture


I had been exercising intensely for the past 10  plus years and had to have frequent shots of avastin.  I began to wonder if the types of exercise I was doing were contributing to my bleeds so I stopped very intense ab exercises that seemed to pump blood into my head.  I also stopped doing yoga with my head below my heart.  This seems to have helped as I haven't had a bleed in almost a year.  Now the challenge is to keep motivated with my new, less intense exercise routine.



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Elizabeth Terry's picture

That's really interesting, Alex! What sort of less intense exercise do you do now? 

Alex's picture

I am still exercising intensely after a break.  I can modify my ab routine so my heart is lower than my eyes and I am very careful to breathe freely throughout.  I did need a shot in the last year but only one.  For cardio, which I think is super important to maintain flexible arteries, I do spin classes 2 to 3 times a week.  When I'm in Maine, I also swim for 35 minutes in the lake although that's not as intense as the spinning.  I'm also vegan/pescatarian for the last 4 years.  This was my solution for sanity when the research project at Mt Sinai showed coronary calcification.  I don't want to take statins because I'm prone to side effects.  My cholesterol is excellent.  I feel pretty good.

Alex's picture

I think I read that you had leg pain when you ran.  I had severe foot pain when hikiing which went away after many years of aerobic exercise.  Possible that new pathways were found.  I used to have to wear huge shoes or my feet would be come numb.  I think you have to find a cardio exercise you can stick with (I could never run).  Also, I gave up sugar (except once a month) and that really helped with weight.

jodie's picture

That is interesting.  I primarily walk for exercise.  But about a year ago I decided to do Planks daily and about a month after I started I was diagnosed with normal tension glaucoma (in addition to the PXE) and had a small hemorrhage on my optic nerve.  One of the drs noted that it was right where an angiod streak was.  She said thought the PXE and glaucoma might be related(though there is no documentation of this in the literature).  She did not think the exercise was related.  But at the time I was doing them I felt alot of pressure in my head and eyes so I stopped doing them and stopped any pose that feels similar - such as any with my head below my body (downward dog).  It feels risky to me.  Thank you for sharing your experience.  

Anne's picture

I was told I have PXE at age 44 after an eye bleed after completeing my first 46 mile intense hilly bike ride on rural roads.  I suspect it was the stress of that ride that caused an already weak eye vessel to bleed.  

I have always been an advid runner, biker, and weight lifter.  I have to say that after intense exercise I expereince more flashes in my eye.  I personally believe that high intensity exercise does affect my eyes but my opthamologist says he does not think so.  I keep exercising but have toned it down a bit and it does seem to help reduce the post exercise flashing.  We are the ones living in our bodies and behind our eyes so we are the ones that know what is good and not so good for us, so we must chose wisely and weigh the risks vs. reward for me exercise is a risk worth taking but moderate is probably the way to go.  

Stacey Mokalis's picture

i!I got eye bleeding for the first time aftre taking up pilates(it lHas just for twomonths)What about swimming,Has anyone tried that?

4juls's picture

I have been doing pilates for 3 years and have not had an issue (yet!) but will now rethink this. I do modify some excercises in class to try to not strain too much or have let the blood rush to my head for long at all. I also run 3 times a week, about 2 miles each time. I used to run half marathons but stopped because of time restaints and just felt it was becoming too much on my body(not realted to PXE).  May I ask your age? I am 40 years old. I was thinking of taking up swim this year as well. Just something new to try. Wishing you well!!

Stacey Mokalis's picture

iI am 45 years old and I did pilates for 3 months.I felt great every time!H got bleeding in my left eye after a period of great stress I don't know if pilates is connected.I am trying to understand if I had changed something in my daily life that may have led to the bleeding.Pilates was sth new.

Mary-Elizabeth Garcia's picture

I've modified my exercise routine to eliminate heavy weights, no steep inclines for walking or cycling, and no horseback riding. 

Jazztune's picture

Anything that puts pressure on the eyes, stop. Do cardio and very light weights. That’s all you need. DO NOT STRAIN. 

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