Progression of glaucoma associated with the sirsasana (headstand) yoga posture

Mark J. Gallardo, Nalini Aggarwal, Harrison D Cavanagh, Jess T Whitson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This article reports a case of progressive glaucomatous optic neuropathy and visu-al field loss that occurred in a patient who practiced the Sirsasana (headstand) yoga posture on a daily basis for many years. Visual field analysis was performed through standard automated perimetry. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured through pneumotonometry in the sitting position and in the head-down position. Stereo-optic disc photographs were obtained. IOP increased significantly in the head-down position. Optic disc evaluation revealed a new disc hemorrhage in the left eye. Visual field analysis over a period of 2 y showed progression of a superior arcuate defect in the left eye. Transient increases in IOP associated with the yoga headstand posture may lead to progressive glaucomatous optic nerve damage and visual field loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-925
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Glaucoma
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Optic nerve head
  • Visual field
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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