When we think of physical exercise, we may consider how the activities in which we engage may help us manage our weight. Our medical doctors encourage us to exercise for certain health benefits, such as lowering our risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and keeping our muscles and joints in good working order. Did you know that your eye doctor in Amarillo may have a little something to add to this?
According to research, we know that exercise can ultimately support long-term eye health in addition to general wellness. Studies indicate that exercise may reduce a person’s risk for glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. This may be because a healthy body is less likely to suffer from conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which affect eye health and vision.
How to Protect Long-Term Vision
There are several easy steps that may be taken to promote eye health as we age. These include:
- Prioritize exercise. The research that has mounted in just the past decade suggests extensive benefits from regular exercise.
- Eat well. Healthy eating goes hand in hand with exercise to reduce the risk of health conditions that could ultimately degrade eye health.
- Visit the eye doctor every year. Annual eye exams do more than observing how well you can read letters on board. These exams also observe the structures throughout the eye, including the lens, the retina, and more. This observation and record-keeping enables your eye doctor to notice changes quickly, and prescribe necessary treatment.
What the Research Says
Two separate studies, one published in 2013 and one in 2016, have pointed out the correlation between cataracts and exercise. The first study found that regular exercise could decrease the risk of cataracts. The second suggested that cataract formation may increase in individuals who do not exercise regularly.
A long-term study of approximately 4,000 older adults discovered fewer instances of age-related wet macular degeneration among those who exercised regularly.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation encourages adults of all ages to exercise regularly as a way to reduce intraocular pressure. In one study of younger adults, researchers discovered that moderate, low-impact exercise significantly lowered pressure within the eye.