Sleeping posture and intraocular pressure

Melissa Hsing Yi Wong, Annie Hiu On Lai, Mandeep Singh, Paul Tec Kuan Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION This prospective observational case series aimed to determine whether the lateral decubitus position, which is commonly adopted during sleep, has an effect on intraocular pressure (IOP) in normal controls. METHODS Patients without glaucoma were recruited from those visiting outpatient clinics for non-glaucomatous conditions. The left eye of each patient was included. IOP was frst measured using Tono-Pen® XL applanation tonometer in the supine position, following which a second measurement was immediately obtained for the left lateral head position. Measurements were obtained with the patient lying on one soft and one hard pillow for each position, and patients remained awake during these measurements. One tonometry reading was obtained for each position. Readings were recorded only when the average of four independent readings produced a statistical confdence index of 5%. Results were analysed using the paired Student's t-test for comparison of the means. RESUlTS IOP in the left lateral decubitus position (17.48 ± 3.18 mmHg) was signifcantly higher than in the supine position (14.48 ± 3.09 mmHg) when using soft pillows (p < 0.001). When hard pillows were used, IOP in the left lateral decubitus position also exceeded that measured in the supine position (16.65 ± 3.54 mmHg vs. 13.65 ± 3.58 mmHg; p < 0.001). There was no statistically signifcant difference in the IOPs measured for the same position when different kinds of pillows were used. CONClUSION The lateral decubitus position adopted during sleep is associated with changes in IOP in healthy volunteers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-148
Number of pages3
JournalSingapore Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Intraocular pressure
  • Sleeping posture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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