Purpose: Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy where intraocular pressure is the only modifiable risk factor. Yoga is thought to adversely affect intra-ocular pressure (IOP) but we do not know if yogic breathing exercises can influence IOP. With this study, we aimed to determine the effect of specific nasal breathing techniques on intra-ocular pressure in normal individuals. Patients and Methods: One hundred and sixty-four normal subjects were randomly assigned to one of four specific breathing groups-right nostril breathing (RNB), left nostril breathing (LNB), alternate nostril breathing (ANB), normal breathing (NB). The IOP was measured in both eyes at baseline and following the breathing exercise; and the change was analyzed. Results: Eighty-five women and 79 men participated and there was no significant difference in baseline age or IOP between the groups. In RNB, IOP reduced significantly in both right and left eyes, from 14.3 ± 3.0mmHg to 13.9 ± 2.6mmHg, (p=0.022) and from 14.7 ± 3.2mmHg to 14.2 ± 3mmHg (p=0.016) respectively. In LNB, there was no significant IOP change in the right eye, whereas in the left eye, there was a significant reduction from 14.2 ± 2.7mmHg to 13.3 ± 2.5mmHg (p< 0.0001). There was no significant IOP change in ANB and NB. Conclusion: Specific breathing techniques like right and left nostril breathing, alternate nostril breathing are safe and do not raise IOP in normal subjects. Additionally, right and left nostril breathing techniques have a beneficial effect of lowering IOP.
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