Regular exercise keeps you physically and mentally healthy. But did you know that it can also reduce your risk for serious eye diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma?
A recent study suggests that regular exercise can guard against eye damage and lower the chance of developing a serious eye condition. This study is exciting because it looks directly at the effects of physical activity on the eye. Previous studies have only examined disease risk among people who self-reported their exercise.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your chances of developing serious eye diseases, daily exercise may be the answer.
How Does Exercise Help the Eyes?
Exercise keeps the eyes healthy for several reasons. First, cardiovascular activity lowers intraocular pressure, keeping the retinal ganglion cells protected. This is important for everyone, particularly those with glaucoma.
Second, exercise promotes healthy blood vessels in the eye. With proper blood flow, both the optic nerve and retina are kept healthy. This protects against the overgrowth of blood vessels that can occur in conditions like glaucoma, AMD and diabetic retinopathy.
It’s also important to point out that many eye diseases stem from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Exercising and eating a healthy diet lowers your risk for these diseases and keeps your eyes healthy.
What Eye Diseases Can You Prevent with Daily Exercise?
When you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you can reap the benefits sooner. Specifically, here are the eye diseases you can delay or prevent.
- Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which high blood sugar levels damage the retina. It’s a complication of type 2 diabetes. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.
- Age-related macular degeneration can be wet or dry. Regular exercise can reduce the risk for AMD by up to 70 percent because it keeps the body “biologically younger.”
- Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for glaucoma, a condition that causes a buildup of pressure within the eye. This pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. Daily exercise has a positive effect on high blood pressure and glaucoma.
- Physical activity has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in the eye. This limits inflammation, potentially slowing or preventing the natural clouding process of the lens.
Routine Exercise and Eye Doctor Visits are Crucial for Eye Health
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine is an excellent way to keep your body and vision healthy. It’s amazing that you can get all of this from a simple workout! Even if you exercise regularly, be sure to schedule routine appointments with your eye doctor. This allows them to pick up any undetected eye diseases and treat them early.