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Is Physical Exercise Good for Eye Health?

When you hop on the treadmill or take a Pilates class, you probably do so with the goal of benefitting your heart health, your waistline and your energy levels. But did you know that exercising regularly is also good for your eye health? Take a moment to learn more from the team at InVision Eye Care.

Regular Exercise and Your Eyes

Many eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, are linked to other health problems that are not primarily eye-related, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Regular exercise helps to keep these other health problems at bay so they are less likely to cause or contribute to eye disease.

For example, regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevents you from developing diseases like diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor has probably advised you that regular exercise will help keep it under control. Avoiding diabetes or improving the management of diabetes protects you from suffering eye-related complications such as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease in which high blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina, causing blurry vision, floaters and other symptoms.

Regular exercise is also encouraged to protect your eyes against glaucoma. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) reports on a study of more than 5,600 adults that found that people who engaged in moderate physical exercise were 25 percent less likely to get glaucoma than the less active or inactive group. Exercise helps to lower the pressure inside your eyes to prevent permanent damage to your optic nerve, which transmits information from your eye to your brain. Furthermore, exercise helps improve blood flow to your retina and optic nerve so those important structures get the nourishment they need. 

Additionally, research suggests regular exercise can stave off age-related macular degeneration (AMD). According to the AAO, a study of the medical histories of more than 3,800 adults found that those who exercised three times a week were less likely to get AMD than the adults who were less active or inactive.

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

You do not need to run marathons or attend daily spin classes to see the benefits of exercise. Thirty minutes of moderate activity like walking or jogging, three times a week, is enough to benefit your ocular health. The key is to maintain your exercise routine long-term. If you stop exercising, you put yourself at risk of developing or advancing a serious health problem that can lead to an eye disease.

Contact InVision Eye Care

For more information about reducing your risk of sight-stealing diseases like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, please contact our practice.

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