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Killeen, TX
A 25-year-old female asked:

If a md presses on the eyes to induce vagal response, can it cause damage in a person with ocular hypertension?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jon Fishburn
Ophthalmology 31 years experience
Not in vogue : As far as I know, the practice of digitally stimulating the eyeballs forcefully to produce an oculocardiac reflex is rarely if ever utilized. This practice is also not ever advisable in persons affected with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The fact that this reflex can occur in adults, eliciting bradycardia, junctional rhythm and asystole, all of which may be life-threatening, is not advisable.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Gary Reiter
Specializes in Ophthalmology
Probably Not: I agree with Dr. Fishburn. Carotid massage or eye massage is no longer in vogue for treatment of PAT and other superventricular tachycardia. Pharmacological intervention is more controllable. Trying to induce an oculocardiac reflex is VERY unreliable. I do not think the short duration pulses of higher intraocular pressure would make untreated ocular hypertension advance to actual glaucoma.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Oct 21, 2017

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