Yoga is a physical discipline that boasts numerous health benefits, including improving your flexibility and muscle strength. It’s a good form of exercise during COVID-19 quarantine, as it can be done at home. And it’s good for your overall health – EXCEPT when it comes to glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which fluid pressure inside the eye rises to an unhealthy level causing damage to the optic nerve. It can result in partial or complete vision loss.
Now, this may sound strange, but certain yoga poses seem to increase eye pressure, and that can present additional risks for people with glaucoma.
Study Results: Glaucoma and Yoga May Not Mix
A research team from New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai had patients with glaucoma and patients with healthy eyes complete a series of invertsion yoga poses — for example:
- dolphin pose
- downward-facing dog
- standing forward bend
- supported headstand
The researchers measured intraocular pressure before, during, and after the participants performed the poses.
The study results showed that both groups of study participants experienced a rise in intraocular pressure in all of the inverted poses. The study author noted that there were limitations in the study warranting further research. However, she maintains that glaucoma patients should ask their yoga instructors for assistance in modifying inverted positions so as to minimize eye pressure.
If you’re suffering from glaucoma (or suspect you might be) and you live in central New Jersey, contact us to schedule an appointment. We can determine whether glaucoma surgery may be the best treatment option for you.