A recent study suggests that mindfulness-based meditation could have a therapeutic effect on individuals living with glaucoma. A team of researchers from India studied glaucoma patients who meditated daily for three weeks and discovered their intraocular pressure levels dropped; the research team also noticed patients’ stress levels decreased and they reported a higher quality of life.
Read on as the team from Aucello EyeCare Center reveals what you need to know about this study and its possible implications.
Breaking Down the Study
A team of researchers from the Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi studied 90 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma.
In open-angle glaucoma, the eye’s drainage canals gradually become clogged, and less fluid is able to exit the eye; as a result, there is an increase in the pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure or IOP). Eventually, high levels of IOP threaten to damage the optic nerve, which transmits information from the eye to the brain.
One group of participants practiced mindfulness-based meditation for 60 minutes every day with a trained yoga instructor. Mindfulness-based meditation emphasizes staying present in the moment, quieting the mind and paying close attention to breathing. The other group did not meditate. Both groups were taking eye drops to lower intraocular pressure both before and throughout the study.
All of the participants were monitored for IOP as well as stress-related hormones like cortisol and overall quality of life.
After three weeks, the group that meditated had significantly lower levels of intraocular pressure than those that did not meditate. Seventy five percent of the meditators had at least a 25 percent drop in their IOP. They also had a reduction in stress-related chemicals and reported an improvement in quality of life. The control group did not have significant changes in their IOP, stress-related hormones or quality of life.
Although further research is needed, the results of the study could be promising to the 65 million people worldwide that are affected by glaucoma. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
The research team noted that meditation should not be considered a substitute for glaucoma treatment; rather, they recommended it in addition to other glaucoma therapies such as eye drops and laser or traditional surgery.
Contact Aucello Eyecare Center
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma or are experiencing changes in your vision, it is best to consult with an experienced, qualified eye doctor who can recommend the most suitable treatment solutions.
To schedule a consultation with the doctors at Aucello EyeCare Center, please call or email us today. You can reach our South Windsor office by calling (860) 644-4362 or our Newington office by calling (860) 667-2020.