How Regular Exercise Can Improve Your Eye Health

How Regular Exercise Can Improve Your Eye Health

Most of us know exercise offers lots of benefits for our cardiovascular health, our weight, and, of course, our muscles. But far fewer understand the impact regular physical activity has on our eye health and vision.

At Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts, our team knows lifestyle habits can play a critical role in eye health. We specialize in vision treatments to protect our patients' eye health, and we provide lifestyle guidance and tips focused on preventing serious eye health issues. Here, learn how a simple lifestyle change like exercise could help you more proactively maintain your eye health.

Improved circulation

Your blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your eyes, keeping even the tiniest structures healthy and functioning. Exercise promotes better circulation throughout your body, making it easier for your eyes to get the resources they need for optimal health.

Circulation also helps your eyes heal, delivering oxygen while carrying away toxins and wastes that can lead to eye discomfort and increase the risk of vision problems, including eye problems associated with poor circulation, like glaucoma.

Reduced inflammation

Some eye diseases and vision problems are related to chronic or recurrent inflammation in your eyes and body. Regular exercise helps reduce inflammation by promoting circulation, enhancing your body’s natural immune response, and supporting other anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

Best of all, you don’t have to exercise for hours to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits of physical activity. Data show as little as 20 minutes of exercise is all it takes to help reduce inflammation and improve your overall wellness.

Better blood sugar management

Many vision problems are associated with high levels of blood sugar or glucose. In fact, people with diabetes have an especially high risk of eye diseases like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Regular exercise is routinely advised for people with diabetes and prediabetes because exercise helps your body regulate glucose more effectively. If you have diabetes or you’re at risk of developing diabetes, making physical activity part of your regular routine can reduce your risk of permanent vision loss, in addition to lowering your risks of other medical complications associated with high glucose levels.

Decreased intraocular pressure (IOP)

Glaucoma is a common cause of irreversible vision loss. It usually occurs when pressure inside the eye (IOP) increases to dangerous levels. If not managed effectively, elevated IOP can damage the ocular nerve, leading to permanent blindness.

Data show regular exercise can help lower IOP in people who have glaucoma or are at risk of developing the disease. In addition, regular exercise helps manage other issues that increase the risk of glaucoma, like high blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Better tear production

Dry eye syndrome is an uncomfortable problem for many people and is becoming more common with age. Increased use of phones and computers means less blinking and less chance for tears to lubricate and clean the surfaces of your eyes, leading to burning, itching, blurry vision, and an increased risk of infection.

The good news: Research shows regular exercise helps decrease the risk of dry eye by increasing tear production naturally. Exercise also improves the quality of tears, making them more effective in promoting eye health.

Improved weight management

Finally, regular exercise helps your eyes by keeping your weight in check. People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of developing an array of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and — yes — eye disease.

Obesity acts on your eyes in different ways. People who are obese may have higher glucose levels, increased systemic inflammation, or poor circulation. Regular exercise helps you drop extra pounds for improved eye health and wellness.

Your eyes play a central role in nearly everything you do. To learn how we can help you prevent eye diseases and vision problems, request an appointment online or over the phone with the Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts team in Bellmore and Great Neck, New York, today.

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