Meditation Can Help Lower Eye Pressure in Open-Angle Glaucoma
A recent study published in the Journal of Glaucoma suggests holistic glaucoma treatment such as meditation and mindfulness can reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease.
The study included 90 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma who were divided into two groups. One group participated in one-hour guided daily meditation sessions for 21 days, and the other group served as the control. All participants continued their prescribed glaucoma medication to lower IOP. Individuals who practiced meditation showed lower IOP, reduced stress and improved quality of life. The control group did not experience these benefits.
Researchers concluded holistic glaucoma treatment, in conjunction with prescribed glaucoma medication, can benefit glaucoma patients.
Ophthalmologists Can Detect Glaucoma Early Through Comprehensive Eye Exams
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, more than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but half are unaware they are affected. Ten percent of all cases of blindness in the United States are caused by glaucoma, and 75 percent of those affected are senior adults.
Because primary open-angle glaucoma symptoms are rare, patients cannot depend on warning signs to alert them of a vision problem. In fact, glaucoma can diminish the visual field by 40 percent without notice. Lowering IOP in open-angle glaucoma is the only method to prevent optic nerve damage and vision loss. This is why it is essential to have annual eye exams with an ophthalmologist.
Through annual comprehensive eye exams, ophthalmologists can detect glaucoma at an early stage before vision damage takes place. Eye doctors can check eye pressure with a test called tonometry and can detect early indications of disease long before a patient would notice signs and symptoms of glaucoma. Additionally, ophthalmologists can identify other forms of degenerative eye disease like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Make an Appointment with Your Ophthalmologist
Call your ophthalmologist to ask whether you are due for a comprehensive eye exam. If you have glaucoma, your doctor can suggest other natural ways to lower eye pressure like exercise, diet, biofeedback and relaxation. Although holistic glaucoma treatment can never replace prescribed glaucoma eye drops or glaucoma medication, these therapies may delay the progression of the disease and help preserve vision.