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Ocul Surf. 2015 Jan;13(1):82-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2014.08.002. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Abdominal breathing increases tear secretion in healthy women.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address:



To determine the relationship between abdominal breathing and tear meniscus volume in healthy women, we investigated the change in tear meniscus volume in two groups: normal breathing and abdominal breathing.


We used a crossover experimental model and examined 20 healthy women aged 20-54 years (mean ± SD, 32.7 ± 11.1 years). The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. During the first visit, the normal breathing group was subjected to normal breathing for 3 min, whereas the abdominal breathing group was subjected to abdominal breathing (4-second inhalation and 6-second exhalation) for 3 min. During the second visit, the protocols were swapped between the two groups. We estimated the R wave to R wave (R-R) interval, tear meniscus volume, salivary amylase activity, pulse, and blood pressure before and immediately after, 15 min after, and 30 min after completion of the breathing activity.


After abdominal breathing, compared to that before breathing, the tear meniscus volume increased significantly 15 min after breathing (P<.01). Furthermore, systolic blood pressure showed a significant decrease immediately after abdominal breathing (P<0.05). No significant difference was found in the test parameters in the normal breathing group.


Abdominal breathing for 3 minutes increases the tear meniscus volume in healthy women. Consequently, abdominal breathing may be considered in the treatment of dry eye disease.


abdominal breathing; parasympathetic nervous system; strip meniscometry; tear meniscus volume; visual display terminal (VDT)

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