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Take a Shower - Lower Your Eye Pressure

Submitted by dave on Sun, 04/20/2008 - 11:50pm

Those of us monitoring our own intraocular pressure with professional tonometers are finding several common activities that reliably lower our eye pressure. Taking a shower is one of those activities. As surprising as it may be, the simple activity of taking a relaxing shower can lower intraocular pressure as much as some glaucoma medications. Taking a shower works almost every time. It works especially well after a stressful event that has temporarily raised your eye pressure.

If you know your eye pressure is up, take a shower. If you are having a stressful day, take another shower. If you are at work and you have had a morning full of stressful meetings, head to the corporate fitness center for a shower at lunch. Even better, take 10 minutes to work out, then take a relaxing shower before heading back to work.


Exercising is another reliable way to lower intraocular pressure. I have found that as little as five minutes of proper weight lifting will reduce my eye pressure very, very effectively. Combining some exercise with a shower is always incredibly effective at lowering my eye pressure.

Given how well taking a shower can lower eye pressure, maybe we should all be taking three showers a day!

The idea of taking a shower to lower eye pressure is so simple, so ridiculously easy and so low tech, you might have a tendency to dismiss this idea. Several people I know who have spent $5000, $6000 or much, much more on the very best tonometers available anywhere in the world and who have monitored their eye pressure day after day have reported this shower effect to me. I have seen the effect for myself consistently over several years. I have even heard from one person who doesn't have glaucoma (but has slightly higher than normal eye pressure) and he has reported that taking a shower lowers his eye pressure too.

You should know however, that there are some limits to the results. If you have been in stressful meetings and your eye pressure is up as a result, taking a shower will almost certainly reduce it. However, if you go back into more stressful meetings or confrontational situations of some other type, your eye pressure will go right back up. What you really need to do is manage your stress effectively to keep your intraocular pressure from becoming elevated. If you are managing stress effectively, but have to deal with an occasional stressful situation, taking a shower can, in my experience, erase the elevated IOP. If the stressful event was short-lived and it is over, the shower may be all you need to quickly get your IOP back to your normal range. However, if your lifestyle has you going from stressful situation to stressful situation, deeper changes will be needed. Still, the habit of taking a break from all the hectic activities is a helpful habit and it can be a good first step to breaking the pattern of all-day-long non-stop stress. Don't expect miracles from taking a shower -- but at the same time don't dismiss this tip until you try it.

By the way, if you really want to reduce your eye pressure, visiting a waterfall -- especially if it involves a hike -- might be a great option to consider!

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