Meditation reduces intraocular pressure

Doctor Eye Health just sent out an email to talk about this study.

Apparently distress/anxiety/depression increases cortisol levels which increases intraocular pressure which in turn exacerbates glaucoma.
In light of that, according to this article there’s some evidence that meditation reduces intraocular pressure.

And this is how the article defines meditation:
" Meditation refers to a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration.8 During meditation, attention can be focused on a mantra, sound, or breath. Mindfulness meditation focused on the breath has an additional benefit as slow breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and counters the stress response."

In reality though, mindfulness meditation isn’t a one size fits all. The meditation right for you will vary from person to person and vary from time to time. So, if you do try out meditation keep that in mind that you may be doing one that is not well suited for you.


Nice. And then we need to take the next step and look at the relationship between intraocular pressure and myopia.

Here is a more recent one.

Most of such studies have been done on children. But an interesting rabbit hole.


Based on that second study, it seems pretty safe to say that meditation would be particularly useful for those with -5 or worse myopia.

Lowkey though, I believe that if you’re doing active focus right, it is a meditation in itself.

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Agree, but I suspect that most beginners do not do it right, and suffer more from stress than relaxation when doing it.

I have just listened to a few videos by Andrew Huberman again. He explains that strong central focus widens the pupil, sharpens our vision, and puts us into sympathetic mode (fight and flight). I think this is what happens with AF. To relax back into parasympathetic mode, we should use peripheral vision, without any specific focal point (landscape mode). I suspect that this is why outside time in good light is so valuable.

My feeling is that getting too hung up about AF is counterproductive and that a little a day goes a long way.


Then again - stress is what strengthens our bodies (and contrary to popular belief - boosts our immunity). Think bodybuilders, if not for increasing stimulus (weights), their bodies would not change. Even in yoga - if you only relax and stretch your body, in the long run you’ll end up causing a lot of damage - loose muscles and hyperextension in joints). One need to equally strengthen and relax. And it helps getting to know your body to know which parts need more strengthening.

In myopes it’s eyes. It might have been unnecessary pressure that caused pseudomyopia (it does seem to happen a lot to overachieving children under unduly pressure from self or peers, and early exposure to meditation might have prevented it), but years of wearing crutches over eyes cause the muscles to weaken, and maybe even atrophy. And AF aims to strengthen the eyes. Yet, as with everything we need to find the sweet spot. And AF, to me, is the sweet spot. You can’s achieve AF if you have lots of pressure in the eyes, face, and body. You can’t force it. You need to relax first. And only then AF can happen. So, assuming that AF is going past that “tingling feeling” (which again can only happen to relaxed eyes!), it is an eye exercise - and it is stress, that in the long run will help the eyes get back to their natural 20/20.

In short, vision improvement is all about strengthening (AF) and relaxation (meditation, or: walks in nature that are a form of relaxation in its own, and on top of it help you get in the “landscape mode” - crucial to improvement). And the trick is to find the right balance that works for you.


I would add sleep, where all the reconstruction work happens :smile: exercise is mostly a way to communicate to your brain what you’re going to need more of so that it focuses on during sleep.
As Dr. Huberman puts it, short bouts of intense focus followed by complete rest!


Very interesting, thank you for sharing.

Also, some people cannot “get it” straight away and even feel anxious when trying meditation or mindfulness exercises. As many things, this also can take some time getting used to it as well, before the positive effect sets in. Others benefit from meditation/mindfulness straight off the rack. As you said: no one size fits all =) But most people profit from it when they stick to it.

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