Researchers have discovered that people who engage in moderate exercise have a 10% lower chance of developing age-related cataracts than people who don’t exercise, according to the International Journal of Ophthalmology.
An estimated 24% of adults do little to no physical activity, which puts them at greater risk of cataracts and other age-related vision problems, not to mention heart disease, high blood pressure, and more.
Getting into a regular exercise routine will not only boost your fitness; it can also help protect your eyesight! It is important to make time in your life to exercise regularly, as it can reduce the risk of developing cataracts and keep you healthy overall.
What are Common Signs of Cataracts?
Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss and blindness worldwide. Fortunately, they can be easily treated with surgery. If you begin to notice the following symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately:
- Cloudy spots or hazy vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Light halos or glares, especially at night
With prevention and early detection, you can take greater control over your visual outcomes as you age.
How Does Exercise Benefit Our Eyes?
Exercise increases our antioxidant enzyme activity, which results in less breakdown and clouding of our natural lens. It is also known to reduce oxidative stress that can cause cell damage in the eye, which in turn causes cataracts.
Over time, exercise can also increase our HDL, the “good” cholesterol, which helps carry more antioxidants throughout the body, including our natural lens.
In addition to exercise, your diet also plays crucial role. An increased and consistent intake of vitamins A, E, and C has been shown to benefit eye health.
What Kind of Exercise Should I Do?
The risk of developing cataracts could potentially be reduced by 2% for every hour a person walks or cycles daily, the researchers concluded.
If you do not currently exercise, start off with a small amount and gradually increase your physical activity. You should aim to exercise several days a week for 30 minutes. This will improve your overall health and reduce the risk of cataracts.
Always consult your physician before starting an exercise regimen.
Running, walking, and biking are common activities found to help decrease the risk of cataracts.
Contact Dr. Richard Chu to schedule an eye exam and find out what you could do to reduce your risk of cataracts and keep your vision healthy.
EYEWORKS Ophthalmology Center serves patients from , Southlake, River Oaks, and Benbrook, throughout Texas.