The effects of Ramadan fasting on the health and function of the eye

Mohammad Ali Javadi, Mahsan Assadi, Bahram Einollahi, Hossein Mohammad Rabei, Mehrdad Afarid, Majid Assadi


Background: Ramadan fasting may alter a variety of physiological parameters which by themselves influence ocular system. Here, we review the effects of Ramadan fasting on the health and function of the eye. Materials and Methods: Literature records in  PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and Iran Medex databases as well as proceedings of related meetings  from January 1986 to March 2014 were systematically reviewed. The search key words was based on the terms “Ramadan Fasting,”“Ramadan,” “Islamic Fasting,” “Fasting in Ramadan” accompanied with one of the eye, tear drop, myopia, intraocular pressure (IOP),tear break up time, basal tear secretion, refractive error, and visual acuity. Results:Predawn water loading and dehydration in the  evening are shown to increase and decrease IOP and tear secretion, respectively. Ocular blood flow is changed in Ramadan fasting, and patients with ocular vein occlusion may experience more frequent attacks. There are no or minimal fluctuations in visual acuity and refractive errors, but most of them are decompensated after Ramadan. Conclusion: Although the influence of fasting in different eye parameters is evaluated in several studies, there are no or only limited studies conducted on patients suffering from glaucoma,damage to ophthalmic vasculature, tear dysfunction, and minimal visual acuity. Such studies are required to make a definite decision before fasting is declared harmless to these patients.


Key words:Eye, fasting, intraocular pressure, Ramadan, refractive errors, visual acuity

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