Fitness And Exercise Reduces Glaucoma Risk

Fitness And Exercise Reduces Glaucoma Risk

Physical activity even to a very small extent can reduce the risk of glaucoma (often called the ‘sneak thief of sight’) and the consequent threat of vision loss. The exact cause of glaucoma is not known and there are a multitude of factors that are contributory. It is interesting that many researchers are trying to understand whether lifestyle factors can affect glaucoma development.

Just 150 minutes of activity per week had a 50 percent lower risk of development of glaucoma. In addition, people with the highest cardiovascular fitness had a 40 percent lower glaucoma risk than those at the lowest fitness levels. Those who both met the fitness guidelines and were in the highest fitness category had the lowest risk of developing glaucoma.

Various studies have been performed to evaluate the beneficial effect of physical activity or exercise on intraocular pressure which is a modifiable risk factor for the development of glaucoma. Immediately after exercise the intraocular pressure reduces and there is a known dose response with intensity, the greater the intensity, the greater the reduction in the intraocular pressure. Moreover, the reduction in intraocular pressure after exercise is even greater in glaucoma patients.

The exact mechanism by which the exercise lowers the intraocular pressure is not completely understood. It is recommended that at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly should be performed to reduce the risk of glaucoma. It has been known for a long time that even mild physical activity seems to lower intraocular pressure which is the primary and only modifiable risk factor for this irreversible disease.

But one needs to understand that glaucoma is a more complex disease that requires lifelong treatment and regular monitoring and medication to control and reduce the chances for progressive vision loss.

Dr. Ramesh Murthy is a renowned eye surgeon and one of the best cataract surgeons in Pune, well-known for his results, experience, and friendliness. He is considered among the best eye specialists in Pune. He is available at Axis Eye Clinic, Pune which is among the best eye clinics in Pune. Screening for glaucoma is routinely done at Axis Eye Clinic.

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