When I do push-ups, I notice pronounced pressure increases in my head, eyes, ears. I do 20, with what I hope is top form: slow (about up and down in 2 sec), chest and forehead touch floor each time, raised all the way up. I just did 20 and my ears feel sort of ringing. Note that I don't find doing 20 terribly hard--I feel I could push myself to do perhaps 25 or maybe 30 if I really strained. But even after about 15, I begin to feel that pressure. I do breathe in and out throughout the movements, though not in any particularly careful way.
I do not get this when I do bench press or any other weight lifting (preacher bench curls, pull ups, tricep press downs), even to near failure with high reps (15, 12, 10, 8), nor with jogging/running. Just push-ups.
Considering that at least one person has had eye capillaries rupture due to push ups, and 2 people have had aortic aneurysm dissections following push ups (or, of course, other intense weight lifts), this has me concerned. (Sure, of course, millions haven't had such things happen, too...just erring on the side of caution).
Push ups strike me as a simple and good exercise I can do at home easily, and a good measure of muscular endurance, but I am rather put off them every time I feel this unpleasant pressure.
How common is this? Is there a way to avoid it and do the push ups more safely? Or perhaps are push ups just not for all people (as if there are some systemic differences that happen during push ups in only some people)? I am willing to try altering my approach, but if I can't get around the "pressure problem", push ups are out of my repertoire.