Neuro-Ophthalmology & Visual Neuroscience. 2014, 1(1), 1-7DOI:
Abstract: Purpose: Maintenance of normal intra-ocular pressure (IOP) involves aqueous humour dynamics at several steps, like active secretion of aqueous humour by ciliary body, its flow along pupillary area and ultimately its drainage through trabecular meshwork, schelemm’s canal and collector channels. Almost each of these steps is influenced by autonomic activity (sympathetic and parasympathetic). This autonomic activity, which is otherwise not under voluntary control, can be modified with the help of meditation. Meditation is said to be ‘a wakeful hypo metabolic state of parasympathetic dominance’. The present study is aimed to assess the influence of meditation on autonomic activity and intra-ocular pressure so that a regular regime of meditation may be recommended in Glaucoma prone persons or combined with the Glaucoma treatment. Methods: The study was carried out on 40 healthy non-meditator male subjects and 20 healthy meditator male subjects of the age 40-50 years who have been performing regular meditation for at least 5 years. Their IOP was recorded in each eye. All these subjects were catagorized into 3 groups based upon 2 criteria, viz. non meditators versus meditators and secondly, normal IOP versus border line IOP amongst non meditators. Thus 3 groups were formed, viz. Group A: 20 Non-meditator persons with normal IOP Group B: 20 Non-meditators who had borderline IOP Group C: 20 Meditators who had normal IOP Subsequently a battery of tests were undertaken to assess autonomic activity in all the groups after seeking their consent and making them familiar with the tests. Results: The values observed in different tests in meditator group (Group C) showed parasympathetic dominance and blunted sympathetic drive in comparison to both subgroups of non-meditators (Group 1 & Group 2). Conclusions: This study can help us in clinical practice by this fact that regular meditation in ‘glaucoma suspect’ & ‘ocular hypertensive’ patients can bring down IOP due to improved parasympathetic tone and reduced sympathetic tone.