Washington, D.C.: A new study says there are certain head-down yoga positions that create eye pressure in Glucoma patients.
Damage to the optic nerve occurs in glaucoma patients when fluid pressure inside the eye rises. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the most common known risk factor for glaucomatous damage and, at the current time, the only modifiable one for which treatment has a proven effect on preventing or slowing the progression of the disease.
Dr. Robert Ritch, senior study author said that while he encourages patients to live active and healthy lifestyles, including physical exercise, certain types of activities, including pushups and lifting heavy weights, should be avoided by glaucoma patients due to the risk of increasing IOP and possibly damaging the optic nerve.
He further feels that this new study will help clinicians advise their patients on the potential risk associated with various yoga positions and other exercises that involve inverted poses.
The research team emphasizes the importance of educating glaucoma patients on all of the risks and benefits of relating to physical exercise and their overall vision health, as well as any other factors that might impact their glaucoma progression, including diet, lifestyle choices, and other co-morbid conditions such as diabetes.
This study has been published in PLOS ONE.