HAVE GLAUCOMA? GET OUT AND EXERCISE! By Dr. Lisa Bennett, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
We all know that exercise is great for your heart but did you know that it may help you retain your vision if you have glaucoma? A recent study published in the medical journal Ophthalmology suggests just that. The activity level of 141 patients with glaucoma was followed for one week with a step monitor. The devices measured how vigorous the patient's activities were and how much of each day they were active. They then analyzed the patient's glaucoma progression for over 10 years before and 5 years after the activity assessment. There was a correlation between increased levels of physical activity and better control of the glaucoma as measured by visual field or side vision testing.
So the take home message is that not only should you be taking your glaucoma drops as recommended and coming for your regularly scheduled appointments but you should also get off the couch and get active! Don't let winter be your excuse, join a gym or walk at the mall. Most likely the reason exercise appears to aid in glaucoma is probably due to a healthier cardiovascular system which in turn provides more oxygen to your eyes as well as the rest of your body.
Glaucoma is still a major contributor to vision loss in the United States. Even if you have never been told that you are at risk for glaucoma, you should have regular complete eye examinations at least every one to two years to be sure you have not developed this condition. It is easily treated with eye drops, lasers or surgery. Early diagnosis is key, however, to preserving your vision. And now we know that staying active helps too!
Dr. Lisa is an Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in medical and surgical eye care such as small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. She practices with Drs. Martha Jay and James Ivanoski at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.