Glaucoma and Inverted Yoga Positions
JAN 10, 2015
My optometrist referred me to an ophthalmologist who I’ll be seeing in three months. She wanted me to be checked for glaucoma. She said she didn't think I had it yet, but was approaching the margins of normal "range" and should be seen earlier rather than later, which seems like good sense to me. But I am an avid practitioner of yoga. Some people say you shouldn't do any kinds of inversions if you have glaucoma. Is it OK to keep practicing normally for the three months until I see the doctor?
No. Inverted yoga positions in a person with glaucoma can cause your intraocular pressure to go up, and this higher intraocular pressure can cause permanent and irreversible loss of vision. Inversions are any position where your head is below your body—not just headstands, but also standard positions like bridge pose and downward dog.
And really, why wait three months for consultation? Go for the consultation now. Better to call the ophthalmologist and find out if you have glaucoma and whether you need treatment. Glaucoma has no symptoms. In most cases, you don't have blurred vision or feel eye pressure or realize that you are losing vision. Early diagnosis and treatment with eye drops prevents loss of vision.