Findings of a new study presented at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in November 2017 have shown that people who exercise may significantly reduce their risk for glaucoma.
Glaucoma happens when fluids build up in the front part of the eye and increase pressure, causing damage to the optic nerve. The disease is one of the top causes of blindness in the United States and more commonly affects adults who are over 40 years old.
Treatment can slow the progression of the disease but there is no cure. Recent studies, however, showed that lifestyle factors can influence eye pressure, one of the major risk factors that influence risk for the condition.
Physical Activity Linked To Reduced Glaucoma Risk
In a new study, Victoria L. Tseng, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the link between glaucoma and exercise intensity by using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that tracks the nutritional status and health of American adults since the 1960s.
Tseng and colleagues found that the most physically active individuals have 73 percent reduced odds of developing the eye disease compared with those who were least active. They also reported finding reduced glaucoma risk in those who engage in moderate to vigorous exercise. Taking 7,000 steps every day of the week is equivalent to having half an hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least five days a week.
Exercise For Your Eye Health
Earlier studies have shown that exercise can change the blood flow and pressure inside the eyes. Tseng said that she advises her patients to exercise for their overall health and eyesight.
Besides engaging in physical activities, eye experts also stress the importance of a healthy diet for healthy eyes. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and collards, oily fish such as salmon and tuna, and citrus fruits and juices contain nutrients and vitamins that can help ward off eye problems.
Wearing eyeglasses and limiting time spent looking at devices and computer screens can also protect the eye from damage. Regular visits to an eye doctor can likewise help detect eye conditions at an early stage.
Our eye experts here at See Island Eyecare can diagnose and recommend treatments for eye problems. Visit or contact us today to set an appointment.