Hawaiian Eye/Retina Meeting

Hawaiian Eye/Retina Meeting

January 23, 2017
1 min read

Lifestyle changes can help lower IOP in glaucoma patients

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KOLOA, Hawaii — Changes in behavior such as increasing exercise and consuming more dietary nitrates can help lower IOP in glaucoma patients, according to a speaker here.

“What I tell my patients about lifestyle modifications is to get moving, especially if [they] aren’t already ... to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially green, leafy ones, drink your daily cup of coffee but don’t binge, and then I do talk to my patients about what other risk factors for cardiovascular disease they have,” Yvonne Ou, MD, said at Hawaiian Eye 2017.

Yvonne Ou

Yvonne Ou

Ou discussed studies that show associations between certain lifestyle behaviors and changes in IOP. One showed that patients who have more visual field loss also take part in less physical activity, Ou said.

Another showed that people who are initially sedentary but take up exercise experience greater IOP reductions than those who already exercise regularly.

Increased consumption of dietary nitrates, whose manifestations include green, leafy vegetables, was associated with a 20% to 30% decrease in the risk of primary open-angle glaucoma.

Ou also discussed the potential impact of caffeine consumption. She pointed to a study showing that one cup of coffee, or 182 mg of caffeine, increases IOP statistically, but it is unlikely that it clinically affects IOP and ocular perfusion pressure for patients who have or are at risk of primary open-angle glaucoma.

Ou spoke of factors associated with both cardiovascular hypertension and long-term progression of glaucoma. For patients whose glaucoma progresses despite control of IOP, she said, clinicians should make sure they are not being overtreated for their hypertension. – by Joe Green


Ou Y. Myth or fact? Lifestyle modifications and glaucoma. Presented at: Hawaiian Eye 2017; Jan. 14-20, 2017; Koloa, Hawaii.

Disclosure: Ou reports no relevant financial disclosures.