Intraocular Pressure Fluctuations and 24-Hour Continuous Monitoring for Glaucoma Risk in Wind Instrument Players

J Glaucoma. 2017 Oct;26(10):923-928. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000747.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of playing a wind instrument on intraocular pressure (IOP) and to monitor 24-hour (IOP) fluctuations in wind musicians of symphony and wind orchestras to compare IOP levels during normal daily activities with IOP levels during playing.

Methods: Professional and amateur musicians of symphony and wind orchestras were invited to participate. A total of 42 participants, 9 with glaucoma, underwent a routine ophthalmologic examination. IOP measurements were taken before and immediately after 20 minutes of playing wind instruments. In addition, 6 participants underwent 24-hour IOP monitoring with the Triggerfish (Sensimed AG, Switzerland) sensing contact lens, during which they kept an activity logbook.

Results: Eleven professionals and 31 amateur musicians participated in the study. A total of 7 eyes of 6 patients underwent additional 24-hour IOP monitoring. Mean IOP before playing was 13.6±2.6 mm Hg, IOP change after playing was +1.5±2.2 mm Hg with a significant difference between professionals (2.5±1.5 mm Hg) and amateurs (1.1±2.3 mm Hg). There were no significant differences in IOP change between subjects with or without glaucoma. During 24-hour IOP monitoring there were slight increases in IOP while playing an instrument, but also during other activities and overnight. These latter IOP levels were similar or even higher than the IOP rise caused by playing a wind instrument.

Conclusions: IOP often rises after playing wind instruments, but similar or even higher IOP levels seem to occur during common other daily activities or at night. These peaks may be relevant for glaucomatous field progression and treatment of glaucoma patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music*
  • Netherlands
  • Tonometry, Ocular
  • Young Adult