Increased Intraocular Pressure

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Case Study - Increased Intraocular Pressure

Reporting Doctor - John S. Blye, DC

Patient: female, age 58

M.D. Diagnosis: High Intraocular Pressure

Prognosis: generally worsens with age

Duration: several years

Previous DC care with condition: yes

Outcome: Resolved

Brief History: This woman had been a patient of mine for over twenty years, off and on. She presented with complaints of increasing intraocular pressure (bilateral) detected during a series of eye examinations.

Pressure readings were 38mm Hg. Normal range is 11 19mm Hg. She was in jeopardy of losing a military tour of duty, as severe IOP is frequently a precursor to the optic nerve blindness of glaucoma.

She was scheduled for a final eye exam the following week.

Findings and Care: Cranial subluxations were found involving the sphenoid and ethmoid plates. These were adjusted twice over a period of three days.

Patient Response: The patient was examined by her ophthalmologist the following Monday who reported that her eye pressure had reduced to 14mm Hg, and that he had never seen anything like this. After testing repeatedly, he pronounced her fit for duty.

Discussion: This is one of two cases of dramatic reduction in IOP following an adjustment of the sphenoid plate. The other involved a 69-year-old female who reported identical pre- and post-adjustment numbers. That is, 38mm Hg pre- and 14mm Hg post-adjustments. Her doctor also reported never seeing anything like it.

The sphenoid plate forms a significant portion of the posterior wall of the ocular orbit. Anterior subluxation of this plate appears to have the potential of increasing intraocular pressure. Increased IOP is considered a primary risk factor for the development of glaucoma, although people with normal pressure are known to develop glaucoma and not all people with high IOP develop the disease.

IOP is most commonly measured using "air-puff" tonometry or applanation tonometry. It is interesting to note that the pressure threshold for normal IOP is nearly identical to that for intracranial pressure (ICP 20mm Hg). 

For more information about Glaucoma, see the National Eye Institute website of National Institutes of Health at

Anosmia - Loss of Smell
Hearing Loss
Increased Intraocular Pressure
Loss of Visual Acuity
Recurring Subluxations


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