The world health organization states that physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of many non- communicable diseases. The WHO and many other health agencies promote exercise as a means to improve mental health as well. Most of us have likely heard how physical exercise can improve both body and mind, but consider this…being active is just as important to our eye health.
Include greens in your diet, keep your eyes hydrated, and take your vitamins. These are some of the common tips people have heard to keep their vision sharp. The other step you can take to ensure good eye health is, get physical.
Over the last few years more scientific research has supported the notion that physical fitness has a positive impact on eyes. One science paper, published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, states physical activity may help reduce the risk of glaucoma.
The study looked at physical activity in relation to low ocular perfusion pressure, which is an important risk factor for glaucoma. Over 5, 600 men and women aged 48 to 90 took part in the study. Their eye pressure was examined, blood pressure was monitored, and their physical activity was assessed. The results indicated that moderate physical activity was associated with a 25 percent reduced risk of low OPP. Those who worked on the study say although an exact cause can’t be pinpointed; there is an association between sedentary behavior and factors which seem to increase the risk of developing glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is caused by unusually high pressure inside your eye.
The connection between physical fitness and good vision doesn’t end there. In 2006 the British Journal of Ophthalmology reported that people with a more active lifestyle were 70 percent less likely to develop WET AMD; a type of age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration occurs when you have damage to the retina, thus causing damage to your central vision. According to the Mayo Clinic, Wet Macular Degeneration is usually caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid into the center of the retina, called the macula.
Blood vessels play an important role in our eye health. Doctors say that the small blood vessels in the eyes can show damage when a person has hypertension or high blood pressure. Research indicates that regular exercise lowers blood pressure. So when people are told to eat healthy foods to regulate their BP, they are not only protecting themselves from health problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, they are protecting their eyes.
Eye health has always been a big factor when it comes to controlling diabetes. Vision is one of the biggest problems with poorly managed blood sugar levels. Many physicians tell their patients that staying physical fit is a good way to help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and ward off any eye complications.
According to the National Eye Institute more than 3.3 million Americans 40 and older are suffering from either blindness or low vision. The institute says we should all have our eyes examined. People who are 60 or older are advised to have an annual eye exam even if they are seeing well. It is easy for us to take our eyes for granted, but take a moment and imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t see the face of someone you love anymore, then go out and get physical!