To demonstrate any transient short-term effect of a particular type of breathing exercise (alternate nostril breathing of Nadi Shuddhi type of pranayama exercise) on the intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucomatous as well as healthy eyes.
A prospective, nonrandomized, observational, cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary eyecare hospital setup recruiting 3 groups of subjects—glaucoma group and a normal group that underwent the breathing exercise as well as a normal group that did not. IOP was recorded at baseline, then at 4 minutes after 10 cycles of the breathing exercise and also after 10 minutes of rest—corresponding to IOPb, IOPc, and IOPr of all the study groups. Only those subjects were recruited who were above 18 and under 80 years and were naive to breathing exercise.
A total of 56 normal eyes (28 subjects, Normalb) and 33 glaucomatous eyes (19 subjects) were recruited for the breathing exercise and were compared with the IOP as obtained for 26 eyes of 26 subjects that did not undergo the breathing exercise (Normalnb). IOPb did not differ between both normal groups (13.7±1.4 mm Hg in Normalb vs. 13.9±1.6 mm Hg in Normalnb, P=0.183) but was significantly different between groups (16.7±3.1 mm Hg in the glaucoma group and 13.7±1.4 in Normalb, P<0.001 and Normalnb 13.9±1.6 mm Hg, P<0.001) but analysis of variance was not significant within groups comparing IOPb, IOPc, and IOPr of all the study groups.
There is no short-term transient effect of alternate nostril breathing exercise on IOP; a longitudinal study is recommended.