Psychophysiological stress, elevated intraocular pressure, and acute closed-angle glaucoma

Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1987 Nov;64(11):866-70. doi: 10.1097/00006324-198711000-00011.


The literature suggests that stress may play a part in the precipitation of acute closed-angle glaucoma because intraocular pressure (IOP) can be affected by the emotional state of the patient. This study considers this evidence in light of what is known concerning the possible relations between psychophysiological stress and elevated IOP. Two common threads run through these observations. The first is the suggestion that stress is a significant factor in the etiology of acute closed-angle glaucoma. The second is a growing suspicion concerning the role of stress in open-angle glaucoma. There is some evidence that glaucoma induction is associated with psychophysiological stress. The role of psychosomatic factors in precipitating angle closure in eyes with an anatomically narrow angle and in raising the IOP in eyes with open angles has been noted in the literature. The implication is that stress reduction might prevent angle closure and reduce the IOP. Suggested methods for achieving these results include biofeedback, meditation, and relaxation exercises.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Glaucoma / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure*
  • Stress, Physiological / complications
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*