Study to explore link between workplace lifting, detached retinas

Lowell, MA – Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, have received a $1.4 million grant from NIOSH to study the connection between lifting and an eye condition known as retinal detachment.

The study will analyze whether intense physical activities common in the workplace – such as lifting, pushing and pulling – lead to retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from its nourishing layer of blood vessels, resulting in potential vision loss and blindness.

The project – which will be conducted over four years and examine data from a large group of new patients who have detached retinas – will expand upon a 2008 study from the University of Bologna that first linked heavy lifting at work to the risk of retinal detachment.

It also intends to potentially offer recommendations on avoiding the condition, according to a press release. Additionally, researchers will examine the connection between obesity and retinal detachment.