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Glaucoma Related to Anxiety and Depression

Submitted by dave on Sat, 11/15/2008 - 3:41pm


Over the last several years, original research conducted by has supported the observation that our internal state (which largely consists of our thoughts and emotions) is fundamentally related to the health of our eyes. Our physical health and our state of consciousness are intimately related and each can influence the other. However, in our model of health,consciousness is primary.

One interesting result of our original research is that we have collected a lot of data on the relationship between intraocular pressure and consciousness. We have found direct and immediate relationships between intraocular pressure and one's thoughts and emotions. This correlation has been observed over thousands of intraocular pressure measurements over a lengthy period of time. This is interesting research because it can really only be done via self-tonometry.

New research in the most recent issue of the Journal of Glaucoma caught my attention. This original research found "POAG [primary open angle glaucoma] was related to anxiety and depression." The conventional medical model assumes that the physical state (e.g., matter) is primary, which is in opposition to our model. However, ignoring the disagreement over whether matter or consciousness is primary, the research certainly found a relationship that strongly supports the message of

I want to share just a small section from this article with you.

Anxiety and depression are the two most common forms of psychologic disturbances, and some chronic physical diseases, such as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, and cancer have previously been reported to cause these psychologic disturbances. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is one of the most common chronic eye diseases that can potentially result in bilateral blindness, and it may also be related to these psychologic disturbances. But to date, it is controversial whether POAG is related to them. Further studies with large sample size, using different instruments for identifying these psychologic disturbances, are desirable to understand more fully the relationship between POAG and these psychologic disturbances. The aim of this study was to assess anxiety and depression in patients w ith POAG. We also investigated whether [beta]-blocker eye-drops, which are commonly prescribed to glaucoma patients are responsible for the symptoms of depression.

In conclusion, POAG was related to psychologic disturbances. It is essential for physicians and their staff to be aware of the high prevalence of anxiety and depression in patients with POAG, and to provide patients with appropriate psychologic care as well as ophthalmologic care to improve the patient’s quality of life. No significant relationship between the use of [beta]-blocker eye-drops and depression was noted.

If you combine knowledge of the relationship reported by this article in The Journal of Glaucoma, together with the results observed in the research that emotions have an immediate and profound influence on intraocular pressure, a very interesting picture of glaucoma begins to emerge.

Here is the abstract of the article:


High prevalence of anxiety and depression in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma.
Mabuchi F, Yoshimura K, Kashiwagi K, Shioe K, Yamagata Z, Kanba S, Iijima H, Tsukahara S.

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Yamanashi, Yamanashi, Japan.

PURPOSE: To assess anxiety and depression in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

DESIGN: Multicenter prospective case-control study. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred thirty patients with POAG and 230 sex-matched and age-matched reference subjects with no chronic ocular conditions except cataracts. INTERVENTION: Anxiety and depression were evaluated using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire, which consists of 2 subscales with ranges of 0 to 21, representing anxiety (HADS-A) and depression (HADS-D).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The prevalence of POAG patients with anxiety (a score of more than 10 on the HADS-A) or depression (a score of more than 10 on the HADS-D) was compared with that in the reference subjects. The prevalence of patients with depression was compared between the POAG patients with and without current beta-blocker eye drops.

RESULTS: The prevalence (13.0%) of POAG patients with anxiety was significantly higher (P=0.030) than in the reference subjects (7.0%). The prevalence (10.9%) of POAG patients with depression was significantly higher (P=0.026) than in the reference subjects (5.2%). Between the POAG patients with and without beta-blocker eye-drops, no significant difference (P=0.93) in the prevalence of depression was noted.


CONCLUSIONS: POAG was related to anxiety and depression. No significant relationship between the use of beta-blocker eye-drops and depression was noted. 

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