Starting with my first true 24-hour period of intraocular pressure data collection I was shocked to see how high my eye pressure rose while I was lying in bed and sleeping at night. My eye pressure more than doubled while I was sleeping, going from around 12 to around 25 mmHg.
The diurnal intraocular pressure exam mentioned in this prior post was done in early 2007. In the Fall of 2007 I added another tonometer (the Tiolat iCare rebound tonometer) to my collection and I begain serious study of my supine intraocular pressure. The iCare allows me to more easily monitor my eye pressure while I am lying down in bed. Previously I did not have an easy solution for supine self-tonometry. Once I began using the iCare, my research into intraocular pressure in the horizontal posture really got serious.
It took me months of practice to learn to use the iCare well -- and even longer to master self-tonometry with it while lying down. And it does require a lot of effort to check my eye pressure in bed almost every day. I've been doing this since last year and it is starting to pay big dividends.
Careful study of my intraocular pressure while in bed at night or early in the morning proved that the initial results I saw underreported the maximal increase. I began seeing peak intraocular pressure values anywhere from 23 to 30 mmHg while lying down. This represents up to a tripling of my eye pressure from the low during the day to the high while sleeping.
In fact, during this period of time my daytime intraocular pressure continued declining and reached new records low -- but my nighttime eye pressure refused to coorperate and remained high. Never once -- not one single time in thousands of IOP exams -- did my eye pressure go below 22 mmHg in these conditions (in bed, supine, at time of day near peak IOP).
Since last Fall I have put all my attention on reducing my nighttime intraocular pressure. I can easily manage my eye pressure during the day now. It says in a very low-normal range all the time, so I began my search for new solutions that would be as effective for helping me manage my nighttime IOP.
I saw my first glimpse of positive results in January of this year. For the first time ever, I recorded supine eye pressure values consistently below 20 mmHg. I thought I had a solution I could begin using, but for months following that one good result, I could not repeat my accomplishment. Then in March, I started seeing small breakthroughs. However, each time I saw good results and tried to repeat what I had done to achieve those results, I could not reproduce them. Weeks would go by without seeing any indication that what I was doing was working. I kept trying different things and experimenting very carefully. Finally, I began to notice that I was getting more frequent success. I was clearly learning what works, but I was not able to implement it consistently.
Just in the last couple months, I really learned how to successfully -- and consistently -- manage my intraocular pressure while sleeping. I started seeing a nice downward trend in my IOP similar to what I saw in prior years for my daytime IOP.The IOP values below 20 (such as 18 mmHg) became an everyday thing with just minor exceptions.
And I gained the ability to create low IOP values in the supine position at will -- similar to what I learned to do during the daytime previous (by employing things like exercise, stress reduction, etc.). But these new methods are things that work while I'm sleeping or lying down and they are much more subtle skills.
My goals has been to consistently see intraocular pressure values below 20 mmHg in the supine position around the time of my peak IOP (early morning). As I said, I've been fairly successful in that and I've been feeling really good about my accomplishment. Then something incredible happened.
I had a visitor from across the country for a couple days. I was teaching him the mind-body skills I'm using to achieve the impressive results I'm getting with my eye pressure. The practice is called Serene Impulse. I spent about five hours a day teaching him the basics for two consecutive days.
My eye pressure miracle happened the next morning following this teaching -- I saw the lowest eye pressure values I have ever seen. And by a large margin. I have known that Serene Impulse is a real key to my success, but I generally use it for a limited amount of time per day. But while teaching Serene Impulse these two days, I did more Serene Impulse myself than I usually do -- by far. And that had a profound effect on my IOP the next morning.
My supine intraocular pressure the next morning (at the peak time of day) was 11 mmHg! Wow.
Previously, it was wonderful just to see a value below 20 mmHg. And suddenly I leapfrogged to a new range of low IOP. I measured this with the iCare tonometer I've been using for all prior supine IOP measurements. Each iCare measurement is the average of six individual IOP measurements. I repeated my measurements again and again to verify the results. In total, I took over 30 measurements and they all ranged from 9 mmHg to 12 mmHg, reflecting the normal variation seen as a result of the ocular pulse. So the result is real and it is backed up by good data that is part of a very large data set.
I call this a true eye pressure miracle!