Eye Exercises and Massages for Glaucoma

Screen for Glaucoma
Screen for Glaucoma

According to World Health Organization, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. What is this “silent” eye disease? Glaucoma happens when the major nerve of vision, known as the optic nerve is damaged, most commonly by elevated pressure (intraocular pressure) in the eye or poor regulation of blood flow to the optic nerve. It is often progressive, and if left undiagnosed or untreated, can lead to blindness.

Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight,” because it often has no symptoms until there is irreversible vision loss. This makes it the leading cause of blindness worldwide, affecting approximately 65 million people, according to the World Health Organization. Although it can be clinically managed, there is no cure for glaucoma


Causes and Cures

Many factors can contribute to glaucoma.  High levels of stress can reduce oxygen in the blood stream, reducing the eyes’ ability to revolve eye fluids, resulting in increased pressure. Other factors include nutritional deficiencies, digestive disorder, heredity, and extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Unfortunately, there is no cure yet for glaucoma. Medication and surgery can stop further loss of vision, but since glaucoma is a chronic condition, it needs constant monitoring.  However, there are some eye exercises that are useful in preventing the gradual degeneration of this eye condition. Most of these exercises focus on reducing tension to the eye muscles and encouraging oxygen supply to relieve pressure


Used to reduce stress around the eyes, the exercise involves using your palm to diffuse stress, relax the muscles around the eyes and induce circulation to the eyes.

Place the palm of your left hand over your left eye, with the hollow of the palm directly over the eye but not touching it.  The heel of your palm should be resting on your cheekbone.  Do the same for the right palm. Breathe and relax.  This gives your eyes the opportunity to relax.  Do this for 3 minutes and it can be repeated anytime you feel a stress coming.

Figure of Eights

By tracing an imaginary figure of eight (the horizontal version, like the infinity sign), approximately 10 feet from you, this exercise increases the flexibility of your eyes while relaxing the eye muscles. Trace the figure with your eyes without moving your head, first in one direction, then in another.  Remember to breathe, relax, and blink from time to time to help your eyes relax.

Eye Massage

Use your fingers to massage crucial points around your eyes to relax eye muscles—not unlike acupuncture philosophy. Simply place thumb below eyebrow and above the inside corners of your eyes and allow your four fingers to rest on your forehead. Using light pressure, press thumb into the point and hold for 4 breaths.

Use thumb and index finger to massage the bridge of your nose.  Glide your thumb and finger along your nose, upward motion with some light pressure.  Press and squeeze for 4 breaths.

Next, place middle finger on your cheek bone, directly below the middle of your eye. Massage the center part of your cheek for 4 breaths.

You can do these exercises at separate times or you can simply graft them into your daily activities.

Physical Exercises

But perhaps the best exercise you can do for Glaucoma is an active lifestyle involving some form of physical exercise.  In particular, aerobic exercises have shown some success in lowering intraocular pressure in some short-term studies.  Logic?  Exercises improve blood flow to retina and optic nerve.  What kinds of exercises fall into this category?  Any exercise that raises pulse rate by 20 to 25% and that includes a variety: a brisk 20 minute walk, swimming laps, shooting balls.  Exercise at least 4 times a week.

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Comments 31 comments

Melody Lagrimas profile image

Melody Lagrimas 7 years ago from Philippines

Very helpful info. Great hub.

jayb23 profile image

jayb23 7 years ago from India

Awesome Hub. I had never heard of this Glaucoma. Thanks for sharing with us.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago Author

Thanks, Melody, for visiting.

Jay, thanks again--will see you around in hubs.

einron profile image

einron 7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Good exercise tips for glaucoma. I shall distribute article to those who like to read. Thanks.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago Author

Oh, einron, you're sweet. How have you been? If you have any more questions, ask me, rather, my husband--he's an eye doctor.

Thanks for stopping by.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Great information! So informative and well done - I can bookmark it now to share and to refer back to!

Thanks a lot for this!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago Author

Thanks, BkCreative, for your kind comments. Will be visiting your hub now.

Charia Samher profile image

Charia Samher 7 years ago

Hey anglnwu, glaucoma is different from cataract, right? When my husband complained of a frequent headache, he decided to look for an ophthalmologist and there the dr told him that he has cataract. Could this exercise work in his case as well? I have tried the exercises while reading and it feels good.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago Author

Charia, cataract is different from glaucoma. Cataract is the result of sun damage, when the lens become fuzzy and you can't see clearly. The only way to take care of cataract is to have surgery--not intrusive at all. Eye exercises will not help cataract but these exercises are good for relaxing the eyes and relieving pressure build-up.

I do these exercises myself, whenever my eyes feel strained. Thanks again for your continual support and your comments.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I have a friend with glaucoma. I'll pass this great info on to him!

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

So sweet of u, habee. thanks and have a great day!

puja 6 years ago

hey good exercixe tips. thnx 4 sharring

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Thanks, puja!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

Good information. I didn't know about these exercises but I will try them.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago Author

Hi Pamela, try them, you'll find them very relaxing. Thanks for commenting.

pieceofpaper 5 years ago

Hello,I have started reading articles on glaucoma recently,because I have suspection that I might have glaucoma myself-what sounds strange,because Im only 15(but I have read,that there exist glaucoma with early onset,so I don't know...)I realized that I experienced some warning signs and when I look on some photos,they resemble some phenomena I observed earlier,but after closer observation I came to conclusion,that it is caused by reflection of light in my eyes... I saw one photo of slightly irregular-shaped pupil...I have also slowly expanding darkness behind my eyes,as it seems to me-but it is more "visible" behind my left eye,so I don't know...Im also shortsighted...I was searching for some pictures of early stages of glaucoma and I must say it doesn't look like it(yet?)...I decided to try running 4 times a week and doing some eye excercises-I must prevent serious damage to happen,anyways...I wonder whether seeing an opthamologist would confirm my assumptions... In future Im looking forward to learning echolocation-seriously,or else I will rely on progress in retinal imlantants pixelation...I might be little paranoid,but I see some proofs that I might be right...

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

pieceofpaper, thanks for reading. It's possible to have glaucoma at an early age--probably through no fault of yours--it could be hereditary or just the way your eye is shaped that predispose you to this condition. Glad you that realize something is not right. I would advice you to visit the opthalmologist as soon as you can, just to make your suspicions are not just second guessing.I wish you the best of luck and let me know what you find out when you visit your eye doctor. Take care.

visionandfocus profile image

visionandfocus 5 years ago from North York, Canada

My father has glaucoma and was only diagnosed after he lost most of his peripheral vision. It really is a 'silent' disease. I think his high bp was a predisposing factor. He's always been active, still goes to the gym well into his 70s. Thanks for a great informative hub.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

I agree with you visionandfocus. Eye doctors agree that it's important to have regular eye check-up. They normally will do a glaucoma test too. Thanks for commenting.

Chandana 5 years ago

Valuable info. Keeep posting good articles like these. Thank you very much.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Thanks, Chandana, glad you find this information useful.

Kamalesh050 profile image

Kamalesh050 5 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

Awesome. Great information. Excellently written and presented. Very well done my Friend. Voted Up.

Take care. Best Wishes, Kamalesh.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago Author

Kamalesh, good to see you again. Thanks for commenting and voting it up.

restrelax profile image

restrelax 4 years ago from Los angeles CA

Very informative hub. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, restrelax for commenting.

ang 4 years ago

very helpful information and advice for a 25 year old that just got a glaucoma implant?

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

ang, glad you find the information useful. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery:)

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KDuBarry03 4 years ago

Very important and informational Hub. Yes, we must definitely take great care of our eyes. That exercise you gave is definitely a big help! Thank you!


PS. Voted up and useful

GRS 4 years ago

I have been told I have early stage glaucoma, I was supposed to be seeb every few months, however the office waited over one year, now my right eye ( formely good eye ) needs three drops daily. I think the eye drops won't help and will need surgury. Is proper rest of eyes helpful, i.e., no long nights or long computer eye strain etc?

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, KDBarry, for reading and commenting. I find the exercises very relaxing myself and use it often.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

GRS, thanks for reading and commenting. There is no cure for glaucoma yet. It's important to use the eyedrops prescribed by the eye doctor as it keeps the pressure down. As for proper rest of eyes--they're useful to keep your eyes healthy but they'll not take care of elminating the problem. If you've glaucoma due to sleep apnea, taking care of sleep apnea can help to improve symptoms. On the whole, it's best to listen to the instructions of the eye doctor and keep the pressure from building up. I hope this helps and take good care of yourself and the best of luck.

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