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How to increase blood flow to the eye

Updated April 17, 2017

Like every other organ in your body, your eyes require oxygenated blood to function properly. When there is too much pressure inside the eye and compromised blood flow, problems like glaucoma can occur. Your vision may become altered too. Improving vascular function for your eyes is important. Always consult a medical professional before deciding upon treatment. There are some activities and nutrients that may increase ocular blood flow.

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  1. Get tested for a magnesium deficiency. Ocular blood flow is influenced by nutrients. According to MediNiche.com, magnesium deficiency can reduce blood flow to the eyes. This important nutrient minimises the production of vasodilators (constricts blood flow), which allows more oxygenated blood flow to this area.

  2. Place warm compresses over the eye area. Use a washcloth or small towel. Soak it with hot water, but be sure the temperature will not burn the skin. Place the hot washcloth over the eye area. When it starts to cool off, resoak the washcloth. Apply for about 10 minutes total. For certain ocular problems, blood flow may be increased and inflammation decreased with the application of heat.

  3. Exercise to improve blood flow. Dynamic (moving large body parts) exercise increases ocular blood flow during the session and afterward, according to a 2004 study conducted by T. Okuno and colleagues at Osaka Medical College in Japan. This effect seems to be more pronounced in those with glaucoma, but the exercise needs to be continued or the desired benefit stops.

  4. Use inversion if you do not have any contraindications. According to the Healthy Back Institute, inversion therapy can increase blood flow to the brain and eyes. You can invert partially or fully with an inversion table, boots, or at a chiropractor's office with the appropriate inversion equipment.

  5. Ask your doctor about taking a calcium channel blocker. Nilvadipine is one that has shown successful results on changing ocular blood flow according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. For some, taking a calcium channel blocker also assists with eye function.

  6. Tip

    Yoga is another way to get the benefits of inversion without expensive equipment. Ask your doctor if yoga could benefit you.


    Do not attempt to self-diagnose an eye problem. Consult with appropriate medical professionals for testing and treatment. If you have glaucoma, it is contraindicated to be upside down. Even with conjunctivitis, seek a medical professional's advice before being inverted. If you use inversion for increased blood flow, start out with only a few minutes at a time. Work your way up to longer inversion sessions.

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About the Author

Vanessa Newman

Based in Colorado Springs, Vanessa Newman writes for "Women's Edition" magazine and has been published in "Rocky Mountain Sports," "IDEA" magazine and "The Teaching Professor." She has been writing professionally for over 10 years and holds a master's degree in sports medicine. She has written online courses for companies such as Anheuser-Busch and Chevron, but prefers creative writing.

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