GLAUCOMA: IS IT DANGEROUS TO PLAY BRASS INSTRUMENTS?
There’s a magazine that our readers hardly ever look at, although it is intriguingly titled “The Journal of Glaucoma”. But even in a journal of this type you can find something unusual.
Musicians measured intraocular pressure before and after playing, and – you’ve guessed it – it was higher after playing. Furthermore, professional brass players had even higher figures than amateurs. The hasty but not final conclusion is that the more you play, the higher your chances for glaucoma.
“But how was the research conducted, and how many musicians were sampled?” you may ask. There were 42 musicians, 9 of which had glaucoma, and intraocular pressure was measured with the help of a special contact lens that does so without interruption.
They placed the lens on one eye and monitored pressure 24 hours a day. It appears that in cases where glaucoma already existed, pressure rose higher than in those without glaucoma. In musicians with open-angle glaucoma, pressure in that eye increased by 4mm after 20 minutes of play, much different than in a healthy eye.
No, your child is not at a higher risk playing the trumpet or trombone. But if they’re already adults and have glaucoma, this information is worth knowing.
But if you have a reason to worry about intraocular pressure, then it’s best to entrust that to an ophthalmologist, and not a contact lens, even a Swiss one.
Photo by Cole Hutson on Unsplash