19 Apr How An Active Lifestyle Can Promote Eye Health
The spring season is the perfect time to renew your active lifestyle; warmer weather and longer days make it easier to spend time outdoors, increasing activity levels. Living an active lifestyle can help improve your overall health… but did you know that it can also promote more healthy eyes? No matter your age, increasing your daily activity can help promote a healthy life, and healthy eyes. Read on to learn how an active lifestyle can assist in keeping your eyes happy and healthy.
Reduce the Risk of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that occurs when there is high pressure within your eye, which over time can damage your optic nerve. The optic nerve provides a pathway between the eyes and the brain, and is therefore crucial to your eye sight. Damage to this nerve can cause irreversible loss of vision.
Participating in aerobic exercise can help improve blood circulation throughout the body… including the blood flow to your optic nerve. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, you do not need to participate in intense exercise to reap the benefits provided by aerobic activity… a brisk, 20 minute walk 4 times a week will do. If you are looking for something more intense to raise your heart rate, try swimming, running, biking, or even dancing!
Increased Movement to Prevent Macular Degeneration
Similar to Glaucoma, the risks of age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) can be decreased by participating in aerobic activities. AMD can occur when abnormal blood vessels begin to form in the macula, located at the center of the retina. If these vessels leak fluid or blood, it can cause blurred vision or blind spots in the center of your vision.
As we age, it can become more difficult to continue an active lifestyle, whether this is due to a busy schedule, lifestyle changes, or other health concerns. However, studies have shown that exercising three times weekly may reduce age related macular degeneration by up to 75%. Maintaining a routine that includes regular exercise, even as we age, can greatly reduce the risk of age-related eye disorders.
Lower Risk Factors of Retinopathy
Retinopathy is another disease that occurs due to blood vessel changes in the retina. Retinopathy can be caused by high blood sugar levels—often due to diabetes—or high blood pressure, that causes blood vessels in the retina to leak into the retina. This can cause loss of vision.
Staying active with regular exercise, alongside consuming a healthy diet, can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, and therefore will decrease your risk of retinopathy. Learn about the signs that could show diabetes is affecting your eyesight in our blog.
If you currently do not participate in very much physical activity, do not fear. Going for a short daily walk can get you’re the aerobic exercise you need to decrease many risk factors. As you get used to this level of activity, see if you can step it up: go for a longer walk, walk more quickly, or even try to jog for portions! Choose an activity that you find enjoyable: relax with a yoga class, go for a hike or nature walk, or check out your local dance studio. You will be amazed at how increased activity that you enjoy can improve your health and happiness!
A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in protecting your eye health. However, it is also important to participate in regular eye exams, in order to protect your vision. If you are due for an eye appointment, contact the optometry team at Dr. D’Orio Eyecare today! To book an appointment, visit https://drdorioeyecare.com/book-appointment/ or call us at 416 656 2020 for our Toronto location, or 416 661 5555 for our North York location.