Exercise is good for you, but now it may be particularly good for your eyes. A new study conducted at the University of Virginia School of Medicine shows that exercise can slow or even prevent a person from developing eye diseases like macular degeneration. Scientists learn more every day about how to better treat the eyes. When choosing an eye doctor, it is important to choose one who stays up to speed on the latest research. Southwest Floridians have the benefit of coming to Elmquist Eye Group, the top Fort Myers eye doctors.
How Exercise Helps Your Eyes
Not only did the Virginia researchers determine that exercise is of benefit to keeping macular degeneration at bay, it may also slow the progression of other eye diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
How does it work?
The researchers found that exercise keeps the blood vessels in the eye from overgrowing, as much as 45% in mice studies. Blood vessel overgrowth causes a tangle of vessels that contributes to macular degeneration as well as several other eye diseases. Halting the blood vessel overgrowth means that exercise can reduce the severity of these diseases, all of which lead to vision loss. For example, 10 million American adults have macular degeneration.
About Our Comprehensive Eye Exam
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle combined with regular eye exams can definitely benefit your overall health. Many eye diseases like macular degeneration can be caught early, and an eye exam often also catches early signs of other health issues, often first detected in an eye exam because the retina and blood vessels of the eye often are the first to show signs of damage. Our Elmquist physicians often see signs of diabetes, sometimes even before the patient ever knows he or she has the disease.
Most eye diseases don’t have symptoms in the early stages, and the only way to detect these conditions is through the eye exam. Sadly, by the time a person notices a vision change, the disease may be in the advanced stages. Elmquist physicians perform a comprehensive annual eye exam to detect changes in your eyes that may be causing the above symptoms.
We also perform a vision exam, and can correct all types of refractive error – nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism – with an eyeglass or contact prescription.
If you’ve wondered whether living a healthy lifestyle pays off, it does, particularly when it comes to your eyes. The Virginia study has shown promising results, and the best part is that even low levels of exercise produce these eye benefits. Scientists are not sure exactly how exercise produces this benefit, but they plan future research to look at factors like whether exercise is increasing blood flow to the eyes, and that is causing the benefit. Unfortunately, poor eyesight and poor exercise habits go hand in hand. As older people experience declining vision, they often don’t engage in physical activity due to poor eyesight.
It is important to keep moving for so many reasons. Get off that couch and go for a walk at your local mall or around the block. Exercise benefits your eyes, and Elmquist is here to help you in your health journey. If you can’t remember the date of your last eye exam, it has probably been too long, so it’s time to call the top Fort Myers eye doctors at Elmquist Eye Group. Give us a call or schedule an online appointment today.