Exercise Reduces Macular Degeneration Risk

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Exercise Reduces Macular Degeneration Risk

“What do eye health, macular degeneration and exercise have in common?” asked Maine Retina Specialist Scott Steidl, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. Actually, there might be quite a bit. The Beaver Dam Eye Study as reported in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that regular exercise can decrease the risk of the eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

“AMD is one of the most common causes of vision loss among seniors and those over 50 years old. It effects central vision, which is important for driving, reading, seeing faces, said Dr. Steidl.

Participants of the study were composed of about 4,000 women and men who were followed for more than 15 years, conducting eyes tests and recording their levels of exercise. They were aged 43 to 86 and were assessed every five years starting in 1988. Considering other factors like age, weight, and blood fat levels, those participants who were active lowered their chances in developing AMD by up to 70% when compared to those who barely had any exercise. Those who regularly walk were found to have lowered their chances to 30%.

But how much exercise is enough? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recommended 90 minutes every day. This should be enough if you have an active job or walk during the say but would probably require you to do more if you have a sedentary lifestyle. It may help if you wear a pedometer, just to know how much you are walking. You can also try other forms of exercise such as cycling, golf, gardening, swimming, and other sports activities. Cleaning your house can even be of great help.

So how much does exercise to help eye health? It is a little too hard to tell exactly how exercise exactly affects eye health but here are some facts to give you some idea:
  • Exercise can lower eye pressure helping to reduce the risk of glaucoma.
  • Exercise can help prevent half of the cases of type 2 diabetes, a known risk for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.
  • Exercise improves the health of the cardiovascular system by lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL levels. Macular degeneration has been known to be caused by some factors of heart disease.
  • Exercise can make us less likely to perform risk taking activities which can damage our health as well as that of others.
If you or someone you know has questions about exercise, eye health ad macular degeneration please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.
 
Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
 
Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.