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Common Yoga Concerns, Eye Pressure

Posted Mar 11 2011 12:56am

There are millions of reasons why I practice yoga. Every once in awhile (mostly because I’m still a novice of sorts) I experience something that makes me question whether or not it’s normal. I think that happens often when we workout, especially as we push ourselves past our limitations. Odd pains and concerning twinges occur and we don’t always know when to stop our workout, and when we should ignore the symptom. Eye pressure is one of those odd occurrences during a yoga session that made me stop and wonder, “should my eyes be feeling this way?” I was aware of the many common sensations that can pop up while learning the art of yoga but I had never heard of eye pressure. I completed my session a little early and did some research.

It turns out that eye pressure during yoga is quite common, and usually benign. When the head is faced downwards, a rush of blood to the area can cause mild pressure. Now that I type this out for all of you to read, it sounds like common sense and I feel silly for being worried. A mild increase of ocular pressure is not a cause for concern. However, I’m not the only one who has questioned the harmlessness of it.

Don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if you find yourself in pain, experiencing tunnel vision or seeing light halos. These could be symptoms of glaucoma. Another cause of eye pressure during yoga is sinusitis. Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, caused by an infection or allergies. For allergies, antihistamines may be given for relief. If it’s an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.

If you don’t have allergies or a sinus infection and the pressure doesn’t cause you pain or discomfort, then ignore it or simply shorten the amount of time you spend in downward poses. I can’t stress enough that intense pressure shouldn’t be ignored but in most cases, minor eye pressure during yoga is nothing to worry about.

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