A small study on glaucoma patients found that relaxation music temporarily improved certain measurements associated with this eye disease. Specifically, daily intraocular pressure was significantly reduced, and best corrected visual acuity improved. Also, short-term mental state was improved.
The beneficial effects of certain types of music are well-documented. Soothing music that helps the listener relax has been found to reduce indicators of stress, such as faster recovery from a stressor, the endocrine responses to stress, and psychological stress responses.
The music study was on patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. Intraocular pressure is elevated in many, but not all, glaucoma patients. Glaucoma is collection of degenerative eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Peripheral vision is gradually lost. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Open angle glaucoma is the most common, and several treatment options are available.
After listening to relaxation music for half an hour, the study subjects and a group of controls were measured. The subjects had much lower daily intraocular pressure, improved best corrected visual acuity and a better short-term mental state. The controls did not listen to the music. However, no difference was found in visual field testing and long-term mental well-being. Also, levels of stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol, and the blood vessel-constricting peptide endothelin-I were similar between the two groups.
Study: “Short-term effects of relaxation music on patients suffering from primary open-angle glaucoma.” by Bertelmann T & Strempel I. Clinical Ophthalmology. 22 October 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1981—1988 DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S88732