1. Normal subjects performed fatiguing static hand-grip contraction at tensions of 20% and 55% of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured by applanation tonometry before, during and after the isometric exercise. Forearm blood samples were taken from the antecubital vein in both the exercised and non-exercised arm before and 2 min post-exercise for measurement of plasma lactate, osmolality, Pv,o2, Pv,co2 and pH.
2. During hand grip the heart rate and blood pressure increased significantly, whereas the IOP remained unchanged from control in both the 20% and 55% MVC experiments.
3. In the recovery period heart rate and blood pressure returned to control values within 3 min and the IOP decreased significantly from control in both the 20% and 55% MVC experiments.
4. When an occlusion cuff was inflated on the exercising arm just before release of the 55% MVC grip, the decreased IOP could be delayed until the cuff was released.
5. Post-exercise blood samples showed elevated lactate concentrations and Pv,o2 and decreased pH in the exercised arm; however, the values remained unchanged in the non-exercised arm. The decreased IOP after exercise may be related to an increased blood lactate concentration.