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Some studies examined the effect of Valsalva maneuver on intraocular pressure with most of them stating a temporary but significant increase (see studies linked 1, 2, 3, 4).

Activities that may involve repeated Valsalva maneuvers were involved in those studies, mainly with wind instrument playing. One older study linked this to visual field defects that correlated with lifelong hours of play but I haven't seen this result replicated.

I have not seen studies though that would examine optic nerve / RNFL thickness changes in wind musicians vs controls. Which means I cannot conclude if the measured transient IOP raises actually result in clinically significant damage.

Do you think the Valsalva maneuver induced, repeated but transient IOP changes patients are exposed to during some activities actually result in glaucomatous optic nerve damage over time?

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  • "Is there any evidence...?" (not "Do you think...?) is the proper question, and you seem competent and poised to answer this yourself. Are visual issues an occupational hazard of woodwind players? (E.g. Glaucoma is.) Does that answer your question? Is there a reason for a more specific answer? If there is, I might post one. Mar 18 at 18:35

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