According to a new study, physical activity appears to have a long term beneficial impact on eye health and could be essential for reducing glaucoma risk, The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology reported. The study examined the link between active lifestyle and glaucoma risk and concluded that physical fitness has positive impact on ophthalmic perfusion pressure (OPP), a significant risk factor for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the most common eye disorders and a major cause of significant vision loss and irreversible blindness in theU.S. It is an eye disease referring to group of different eye disorders all damaging the optic nerve and leading to significant vision loss and/or irreversible blindness. Although some of the risk factors for the disease are well studied, the exact causes of glaucoma remain unknown. Elevated intra-ocular pressure is still considered the main culprit for glaucoma. Age, abnormalities of the structure of the eye, general health problems such as diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and cardio-vascular problems are also considered risk factors for glaucoma. The most common glaucoma type – open-angle glaucoma, may also be inherited: people with parents with this type of glaucoma are 4-5 times more likely to develop it than people without glaucoma in their family medical history.
Recent studies showed that other factors such as low ophthalmic perfusion pressure may affect the optic nerve and lead to eyesight loss.
The new study examined the relationship between physical fitness and OPP in 5,650 men and women aged 48 to 90. Participants were asked to complete a physical activity assessment survey and were examined for eye pressure. The results showed that those who had moderately active lifestyle approximately 15 years ago have 25 percent reduced risk of low OPP. Researchers concluded that ophthalmic perfusion pressure is largely determined by cardiovascular fitness and thus people with active work and/or leisure lifestyle could benefit from better eye health and lower glaucoma risk.
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