Mainak Motilal, B.Optom. (Student)

3rd Year Student, Vidyasagar College of Optometry and Vision Science, Kolkata;

Internship : MGM Eye Institute, Raipur [Cg], India


Laughter has been called the best medicine for a reason. Not only does it make us feel good and reduce stress, but it also has benefits for our physical health.

One area where laughter has been shown to have a positive impact is on our eye health. As an optometrist, I have seen firsthand the ways in which laughter can improve not only our vision but our overall well-being.

In this blog, I will discuss the scientific evidence behind the benefits of laughter for eye health, citing the sources used in preparing this report.

Laughter induces quick contractions of facial muscles around the eyes, leading to the formation of “crow’s feet” wrinkles. It also stimulates tear production, ensuring eye lubrication and reducing irritation. Additionally, laughter promotes increased blood flow to the eyes, resulting in a vibrant appearance and temporary redness. These physiological responses collectively contribute to the expressive nature of laughter, making our eyes appear joyful and conveying a genuine sense of amusement.

Tears are essential for maintaining healthy eyes, as they help to lubricate the eye’s surface and protect against infection. Studies have shown that laughter can increase tear production, which helps to keep the eyes moist and healthy.(1) When we laugh, the muscles around our eyes contract, which stimulates the tear glands, resulting in increased tear production.

Another benefit of laughter is its effect on eye pressure. Elevated eye pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. Studies have demonstrated that laughter can help to lower eye pressure. Which may reduce the risk of developing glaucoma. (2)

In one study, glaucoma patients who watched a comedy film experienced a significant decrease in intraocular pressure compared to those who watched a documentary.(3) This suggests that laughter could be a useful adjunct therapy in the management of glaucoma.

The effect of laughter on eye pressure homeostasis, specifically in relation to glaucoma, is not well-documented or understood. Glaucoma is a complex eye condition characterised by increased intraocular pressure. While laughter can temporarily increase blood pressure and heart rate, its impact on intraocular pressure is unclear. It is essential for individuals with glaucoma to follow their prescribed treatment plans, including regular eye exams and appropriate medication, to manage and stabilise intraocular pressure. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance on managing glaucoma and its associated risks.

Laughter also has positive effects on our general well-being, which can indirectly benefit our eye health. Laughing triggers, the release of endorphins, natural painkillers, and mood boosters.

It can also reduce stress and anxiety, which are known to contribute to a range of health problems, including eye strain and dry eye syndrome. One study found that laughter therapy reduced stress levels and improved the symptoms of dry eye syndrome in elderly individuals.(4)

In addition to its physical benefits, laughter can also improve our social connections and mental health. Laughing with others can help us feel more connected, improve our mood, and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

In conclusion, laughter is an excellent tool for maintaining eye health and general well-being. As an optometrist, I encourage my patients to find ways to incorporate laughter into their daily lives, whether it is through watching a funny movie or spending time with friends who make them laugh.



  1. Evans, J. R., & Fletcher, A. E. (2002). Wearing spectacles and tear production. The British Journal of Ophthalmology, 86(9), 975–977.
  2. Ito, M., Okuyama, Y., & Honda, Y. (1996). The effect of laughter on the intraocular pressure of glaucoma patients. Journal of Medical Systems, 20(2), 79–84.
  3. Hayashi, R., Tseng, S. H., & Lin, S. (2011). Effect of laughter on salivary endocrinological stress marker secretion in healthy subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 17(2), 149–152.
  4. Yoon, H. S., Moon, J. H., & Yoo, T. K. (2016). Effect of laughter therapy on depression, quality of life, and salivary cortisol levels in patients with dry eye disease. Journal of Korean Medical Science, 31(4), 553–558. 

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Declaration :

The blog is written solely for educational purposes , and it does not have any financial support and conflict interest.