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Ines M. Lanzl, Kathrin Kappmeyer, Konstantin E. Kotliar; Intraocular Pressure During Wind Instrument Playing. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):4174.
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It is assumed that while playing wind instruments a Valsalva manoeuvre is performed which induces a rise in intraocular pressure (IOP). The extend of this rise during and after playing of low and high resistance wind instruments in healthy musicians has not yet been assessed.
IOP was measured by rebound tonometry in the sitting position before, during and after playing of high and low resistance wind instruments. The measurements were obtained in 32 lay and players with high and low resistance instruments in two settings: during normal and forced (loud and high pitched notes) playing intervals and in 14 professional players with high resistance instruments during forced playing intervals.
In lay players in low resistance instruments baseline IOP was 17,2 ± 3,2 mmHg. During normal playing there was a mean increase of 1,7 ± 0,2 mmHg. After cessation of playing the IOD fell below baseline pressures with a mean of 16,2 ± 4,5 mmHg. With high resistance instruments in lay players the mean IOD before playing was 17,3 ± 2,9 mmHg, during the minute of playing a normal tune we found a mean rise in IOP of 2,7 ± 0,3 mmHg which decreased immediately after cessation of playing to 16,6 ± 3,6 mmHg. During forceful (loud and high notes) playing the IOD rose by a mean of 9,2 mmHg to 26,5± 7,7 mmHg. The highest value was found in a male trumpet player with 42 mmHg. Immediately after playing the IOD fell to 15,7 ± 3,1 mmHg. In professional players with high resistance instruments the baseline IOP was 14,4 ± 3,9 mmHg and rose to 20,4 ± 6,7 mmHg during forceful playing. After cessation of playing the IOP fell to 15,6± 2,7 mmHg.
IOP changes, especially those found during forceful playing with high resistance wind instruments, can significantly increase the IOP in healthy eyes. Professional players also experience an increase in IOP during playing sequences. The IOP increase might be less pronounced than in lay players due to a better training effect in the necessary musculature.
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