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Acute effects of yoga on ocular perfusion pressure in adult yoga practitioners

Vinitha KR, Sudha B Sreenivas, Praveen Kulkarni.

Background: Ocular perfusion pressure (OPP) is an important determinant of ocular blood flow. Reduced OPP could be a risk factor for glaucoma. According to the WHO, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Yoga harmonizes the body with the mind. Studies have demonstrated that yogic exercises affect blood pressure (BP) as well as intraocular pressure (IOP). Although OPP depends on BP and IOP, not much of research has been done to analyze the impact of yoga on OPP.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study is to analyse the immediate and composite effects of yoga on OPP in adult yoga practitioners.

Materials and Methods: 32 healthy adult yoga practitioners in the age group of 18-25 years, were selected. Basal IOP and BP were recorded in sitting position using rebound tonometer and sphygmomanometer, respectively. The second recording was done immediately after 45 min of yoga practice. Mean OPP (MOPP) was calculated.

Results: There was no significant difference in the IOP of both eyes before and after yoga. Statistically significant fall in the mean arterial pressure (MAP) and OPP of both eyes was observed immediately after yogic exercises (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: In this study, MAP was reduced and IOP remained unchanged following yoga. This implies that simple yoga exercises may be useful as supplementary antihypertensive therapy. Although OPP was reduced in our study, autoregulation might maintain blood flow despite changes in perfusion pressure. More insight into ocular blood flow regulation can be studied using optical coherence tomography.

Key words: Intraocular Pressure; Mean Arterial Pressure; Ocular Perfusion Pressure; Yoga

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