I have never seen a single resource that recommends weight lifting as a means of lowering intraocular pressure (IOP). In fact, I think the conventional wisdom is that weight lifting would not be the right kind of activity to engage in for someone with elevated IOP or glaucoma.
One way to categorize exercise is as either aerobic or anaerobic. Weight lifting is usually anaerobic. Therefore, when one reads a statement such as “while studies show that aerobic exercise can lower intraocular pressure, other forms of exercise can increase pressure”, one naturally concludes that weight lifting will raise IOP.
On the Commonly Asked Questions page at Glaucoma Associates of New York, they address the issue of exercise and IOP or glaucoma in two questions. Both repeat the exhortation that aerobic exercise lowers IOP and non-aerobic exercise raises IOP. Here are those two items:
New research presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting last week revealed that acupuncture can dramatically reduce eye pressure (intraocular pressure). I published the full report on my eye pressure blog. The results were quite dramatic. A single treatment of acupuncture reduced eye pressure more than 50%!
These findings strongly support a significant role for the neurotransmitter glutamate in the optic nerve damage characteristic of glaucoma. Present results suggest that an excessive increase in glutamate levels could represent an initial (and probably reversible) insult responsible for initiation of damage that is followed by a slower secondary degeneration that ultimately result in optic nerve cell death.
Although ocular hypertension is probably the most important risk factor in glaucoma, several other factors may significantly contribute to the optic nerve damage that is the real concern in glaucoma. In a previous report, we showed that free radicals in the eye might be involved in optic nerve cell death. Other authors have postulated that excessive levels of nitric oxide may contribute to this optic nerve damage.
Like most people, my intraocular pressure (IOP) is lowest at night. This is also when natural levels of melatonin are near their high in the circadian cycle. My IOP is highest in the morning when melatonin is low. There seems to be a correlation between my IOP and melatonin. Recognizing that relationship lead me to have a discussion with my physician.
My physician agreed to carefully monitor my IOP while I try melatonin. I'll tell you how the results of the first day turned out. But first, let me tell you what I know about melatonin.
My physician gave me some background on melatonin. It is known that levels of melatonin in the blood are highest prior to bedtime. He said melatonin is a neurohormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland. The amino acid tryptophan is a precursor for melatonin. The synthesis of melatonin is stimulated by darkness; its release is suppressed by light. For this reason, melatonin is believed to be involved in the circadian rhythms. It is also involved in the regulation of diverse bodily functions.
Yesterday I wrote about the news that Ocufors, a plant-based pharmaceutical product for glaucoma, had received regulatory approval from India's equivalent of the US FDA (the Drugs Controller General of India - DCGI).
Ocufors is a natural, plant-derived product that has been found to be 30% more effective at reducing intraocular pressure than existing glaucoma drugs, according to its manufacturer.
I have been following the story of the herb behind Ocufors for a few years. And I have been hoping to see a product like Ocufors come to market.
As a quick aside, I want to comment on the product name. It may be obvious, but Ocufors is a combination of "Ocu" for ocular and "fors" for forskolin, which is the active ingredient extracted from the herb.
As reported by Red Herring, there are two companies involved. The US patent is held by Sami Labs of Bangalore, India. According to Red Herring, Sabina , a US-based company, owns Sami Labs.