EyeTunes? The harmony between Music and Medicine

Music has been an integral part of the human experience since antiquity. It shares many similarities to medicine including extensive training, excellent teamwork and pursuit of optimal performance. Music can activate widespread neural networks in the brain, including emotional, cognitive and motor regions (1-4).  There is a growing body of biomedical research demonstrating that music may be used to improve the overall health of patients in ophthalmology (5) and medicine. Some examples include:

  • Stress Relief: Cataract surgery is most often performed in elderly patients. This age demographic are likely to find surgery more stressful and taxing on their bodies compared to younger people. A study on nearly 150 patients undergoing cataract surgery found that listening to relaxing music before the procedure helped to alleviate their anxiety (6). Evidence from a larger systematic review also supported the benefits of music interventions for reducing anxiety in patients before operations (7).  
  • Pain Relief: Music therapy has been tested in patients ranging from those with intense acute pain to those with chronic pain from arthritis. Music therapy decreases the perception of pain, therefore giving people a sense of better control over their pain, reducing depressive feelings and reducing the amount of medications needed to take (8).
  • Eye Pressure Relief: Some studies have associated relaxing classical music (e.g. Mozart) with the reduction of pressure in the eye . This could be important for treating glaucoma, which is a progressive disease of the optic nerve that can be more effectively managed when the eye pressure is controlled properly (9,10)

Another fantastic benefit of music is community, fundraising, and celebration. We look forward to welcoming you on Saturday 11th February 2023 to our inaugural classical music concert at D’Aria Wine Estate. More information about the concert and ticket sales can be found here! Funds raised at this event are used to give the precious gift of sight to young patients in the Western Cape with preventable corneal blindness.



  1. Bernatzky G, Presch M, Anderson M, Panksepp J. Emotional foundations of music as a non-pharmacological pain management tool in modern medicine. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2011;35(9):1989-99.
  2. Chanda ML, Levitin DJ. The neurochemistry of music. Trends Cogn Sci 2013;17(4):179-93.
  3. Juslin PN, Västfjäll D. Emotional responses to music: the need to consider underlying mechanisms. Behav Brain Sci 2008;31(5):559-75; discussion 575-621.
  4. Koelsch S. A neuroscientific perspective on music therapy. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2009;1169:374-84.
  5. Muralidharan S, Ichhpujani P, Bhartiya S, Singh RB. Eye-tunes: role of music in ophthalmology and vision sciences. Therapeutic Advances in Ophthalmology 2021;13:25158414211040890.
  6. Bellan L, Gooi A, Rehsia S. The Misericordia Health Centre cataract comfort study. Can J Ophthalmol 2002;37(3):155-60.
  7. Bradt J, Dileo C, Shim M. Music interventions for preoperative anxiety. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013;2013(6):Cd006908.
  8. Lee JH. The Effects of Music on Pain: A Meta-Analysis. J Music Ther 2016;53(4):430-477.
  9. Bertelmann T, Strempel I. Short-term effects of relaxation music on patients suffering from primary open-angle glaucoma. Clin Ophthalmol 2015;9:1981-8.
  10. Zhou RX, Li F, Gao K, Li H, Yuan Y, Sun Y, Zhang XL. [Effects of different types of music on intraocular pressure and the underlying mechanism]. Zhonghua Yan Ke Za Zhi 2020;56(1):25-31.

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