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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Does Exercising Help Eyesight as we Age?

Regular physical exercise has been proven to promote good health. However, its role in preventing eyesight problems is not well known. Most eye problems are linked to other health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. As exercise helps keep such health issues at bay, it makes sense that our eyes would derive the same benefits as the rest of the body.

Several studies in the recent past have corroborated this belief linking a healthy lifestyle and regular physical exercise to vision health. Many eye problems are
also age-related in that they manifest themselves the more we age. In worst case scenarios, they may even lead to blindness. Regular exercise be it moderate or vigorous can help avert these problems or limit them if they do
occur.

One of the eye problems associated with age is age-related macular degeneration; a leading cause of vision loss. It affects the central retinal area of the eye that is responsible for sharp and precise vision required in tasks such as reading and driving. It has no cure and it shares risk factors with cardiovascular disease. Lack of exercise and an unfavorable body mass index may lead to rapid eyesight deterioration.

People who engage in regular physical exercise are also less likely to develop glaucoma than those who do not. Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve in the eye is deprived of blood supply leading to damage. An important factor in its development is ocular perfusion pressure which can be prevented by exercise.

Cataract mainly affects elderly people and is the leading cause of vision impairment in the world. If not treated, it can lead to poor eyesight or blindness. It is characterized by cloudiness of the lens of
the eye. Some of the factors that are thought to be involved in the development of cataracts are inflammation and oxidation. Regular exercise is known to increase high-density lipoprotein concentrations which both have an anti-oxidation and anti-oxidation effects thereby reducing the risk of developing cataracts.

Exercising also helps in managing an existing disease better. People with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy another major cause of vision loss in adults. Regular physical
activity reduces the risk of such complications developing. Glaucoma patients can also manage it by exercising regularly and continuously. Exercise lowers intraocular pressure improving blood flow to both the optic nerve and retina. One needs to stick to the program as a slip-up leads to a reversal to previous levels.

Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet will, therefore, reduce the risk of developing eye diseases or limit their severity if they do occur. Simple things like taking a walk or exercising a few days a week may be enough to keep your eyes healthy for longer. While your vision health is the main concern in this article, you also stand to benefit in many other aspects. Financially, costs related to the treatment of eye diseases will be averted. Stick to a healthy diet and exercise and your eyes shall pay back your efforts with a lifetime of great vision.

Always consult with a eye care professional when having vision problems ASAP.


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