GET OFF THE COUCH AND SEE THE DIFFERENCE By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Winter is upon us but don’t take that as an excuse to hibernate! Staying active has been shown in a recent study to decrease your chances of developing macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an aging change affecting the back of your eye. It is the leading cause of legal blindness for those over age 65 years of age. Previously known risk factors include age, smoking, ultraviolet exposure (not wearing sunglasses) and a diet deficient in leafy green vegetables.
The recent study about physical activity and macular degeneration was published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. The authors looked at scientific articles published through May of 2015 which, in total, involved almost 70,000 patients. The conclusion was that physical activity was protective against developing macular degeneration. Those with a high level of exercise were at an 8% lower risk of developing mild or “dry” macular degeneration compared to their sedentary cohorts. The difference was even greater for severe or “wet” macular degeneration. There was a 41% lower risk of developing this type of macular degeneration in the active patients compared to those with a low activity level.
Whether it is going for a walk, joining a gym, participating in a SilverSneakers program or whatever works for you – get off the couch and get moving! Not only will you potentially improve you vision but it will help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent muscle loss and even improve your mood.
While you are at it, don’t forget to treat your eyes to a complete eye examination at least every 1 to 2 years. If you have diabetes, we suggest yearly. If you have glaucoma, we normally recommend that we see you at least twice yearly.
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist practicing at Madison Medical Eye Care with Drs. Mark German and James Ivanoski. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.