How we sleep can raise or lower IOP
Patients with glaucoma often ask what they can do to favorably impact their disease. These patients are eager to engage in beneficial activities and to avoid detrimental activities to save their optic nerve from glaucoma. Unfortunately, most of glaucoma’s known risk factors are not modifiable—such as age, race, and family history. In glaucoma management, there is little credible data supporting any role of nutritional supplements, avoidance of certain exposures such as caffeine or smoking, or alternative interventions such as acupuncture. Doctors’ standard answer is usually to encourage patients to continue using their medications as prescribed and to keep their follow-up appointments faithfully.
Some new research presented at the May 2009 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., suggests that there may be a new modifiable risk factor within the patient’s ability to control: sleeping position.
Read more: http://www.eyeworld.org/article-sleeping-position-alters-intraocular-pre...
Caveat: this article ignores ocular perfusion pressure. It is quite possible that the conclusions discussed in this article are incorrect. Sleeping with the head elevated may reduce IOP but it may also reduce blood flow to the optic nerve (and brain) and thereby reduce ocular perfusion pressure. It is quite possible that sleeping with the head elevated may do a glaucoma patient more harm than good. But read the article for one perspective.