Physical fitness key to keeping your eyes healthy

Washington: Maintaining an active lifestyle could be a new way to keep our eyes healthy and reduce glaucoma risk, a new study has suggested.

It found that higher levels of physical exercise appear to have a long-term beneficial impact on low ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), an important risk factor for glaucoma.

The study examined the relationship between physical activity and current OPP in 5,650 men and women aged 48 to 90 who live in the UK and were part of initial cohort from 1993 - 1997.

From 2006 to 2010, study participants were examined for eye pressure -medically termed intraocular pressure (IOP) - and systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements.

The results showed that moderate physical exercise performed approximately 15 years previously is associated with a 25percent reduced risk of low OPP.

“It appears that OPP is largely determined by cardiovascular fitness,” said author Paul J. Foster, MD PhD, FRCS (Ed), of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology.

“We cannot comment on the cause, but there is certainly an association between a sedentary lifestyle and factors which increase glaucoma risk.

“We believe our study points toward a new way of reducing glaucoma risk, through maintaining an active lifestyle. This is a way that people can participate in altering their risk of glaucoma and many other serious health problems,” he added.

The study was published in the Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science journal.


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