We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that masturbation can cause hairy palms or make people go blind. While the former is blatantly untrue, the latter could unnervingly be very real.
A 66-year-old man found that out the hard way when he complained of temporarily going blind whenever he would orgasm. Bizarrely enough, he only experienced this condition during sex, and never while doing other strenuous activities.
Medical experts later found out that his condition was caused by a temporary loss of vision known as “transient monocular blindness.” Initially, doctors blamed embolism for causing the blindness—later on, they discovered the culprit to be vasoconstriction. In other words, the man’s orgasms actually restricted the blood supply to his eyes during sex, causing them to briefly not work.
Fortunately for the man, his condition was not debilitating and could be treated with vasodilating drugs that worked to widen the eyes’ blood vessels.
- “During orgasm the valsalva manoeuvre [holding your breath to prevent an orgasm] can produce a sudden increase in retinal venous pressure resulting in vessel rupture and haemorrhagic retinopathy,” the BMJ case report noted.
- Basically, the intense pressure from his climax caused a sudden increase in pressure behind his retina and resulted in a blood vessel bursting.
- The burst vessel then obstructed his vision in that eye.