I haven't blogged much about my daily eye pressure records lately. However, I am continuing to collect data and work with my medical team. As of right now we have recorded 16,785 intraocular pressure measurements over 205 days. In the last 47 days my eye pressure has consistently been under 15 during the day. The most interesting (and fruitful) research seemed to be related to my eye pressure during the night.
One change I am trying is administering my eye drops earlier in the day. Because Xalatan (and Travatan) seem to have their peak effect in the period starting 12 hours after administration, I want to use the drops twelve hours prior to my peak night time eye pressure. I believe my peak pressure occurs between 3 AM and 6 AM.
Yesterday, I tried to use my eye drops in the afternoon about 12 hours before this peak period. Normally my wife puts my eye drops in. Yesterday, I did them myself, and apparently I missed my left eye. That makes today's eye pressure data worth commenting on. The day isn't over yet, but here are the measurements I have recorded so far.
|11:10||22.3||13.0||Working at computer. Challenging work.|
|11:26||16.3||11.3||After brushing teeth.|
|11:55||13.7||11.0||Played Frisbee w/my dog.|
|12:53||18.7||11.7||Working at computer. Challenging work.|
|13:16||13.0||9.7||After 15m weight training.|
|15:03||22.7||16.0||Working at computer. Stressful work. Anxiety.|
|16:34||20.3||13.7||Working at computer. My hands are cold.|
|18:06||13.3||11.3||Played Frisbee w/my dog.|
|18:15||12.3||10.3||After brushing teeth.|
Several things are interesting. Obviously, I did miss getting the drop in my left eye. One just has to compare today's IOP measurements with past data.
But look how effective the weight training was at lowering my eye pressure. My eye pressure was 18.7 in my left eye, and I brought it down to 12.3 with just 15 minutes of weight lifting. It stayed below 15 until I started doing some stressful and anxiety-producing work. That stress caused my eye pressure to shoot up to 22.7. When I finished the work, I played Frisbee with my dog for about 10 minutes and I was able to reduce my eye pressure to 13.3. And the unexpected oral care effect continues to be nearly 100% effective, as brushing my teeth further lowered my eye pressure to 12.3.
If I controlled my stress even better, I could get away with a lot less glaucoma medication. I'm working on it. Today was a good reminder. Without the benefit of the Xalatan yesterday, the eye pressure in my left eye was totally under the control of my actions. When I allowed myself to feel stress or anxiety, my eye pressure went up. When I relaxed or played (or worked out), it went down.
I am completely confident about the cause and effect relationship described above because it has held over the course of thousands of measurements and a lot of experimenting. My eye pressure is under my control. I just have to manage my emotions and stress even better, and I have learned some better techniques for doing this recently.