You probably know that maintaining a healthy weight is good for the body as a whole, but did you know it can also benefit your eye health?
It’s true! Science tells us that overweight and obese people are at a greater risk for conditions like diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. This is nothing to take lightly — many of these eye conditions cause irreversible eye damage and can result in permanent vision loss.
The latter, glaucoma, is usually familial — but not necessarily linked to being overweight. However, eye pressure could put you at greater risk. What’s particularly concerning about this condition is that while it’s the leading cause of blindness, it can be a silent culprit. That’s because about half of people know they have it, even though it can cause issues with vision without symptoms or pain.
Reducing Your Risk
The good news is that, to some extent, you can do your part to ward off preventable eye conditions. By maintaining a healthy weight you can reduce your risk of diabetes mellitus, stroke, cardiovascular disease, etc. It’s important to note that a high BMI is associated with ocular health disease, too. People struggling with obesity may grapple with other medical issues like retinal vein occlusions, floppy eyelid syndrome, stroke causing visual loss, and thyroid-related eye diseases.
Maintaining An Healthy Lifestyle
While obesity can be hereditary, some patients can reverse course and bolster their eye health at the same time. For example, an active lifestyle coupled with a balanced diet, rich in nutrients have been shown to make a difference in weight reduction When planning meals, be sure to include foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, omega 3, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as these have been shown to decrease the progression and severity of eye diseases such as macular degeneration.
Also, it’s recommended that Americans get at least 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. So, get moving!
If you’re overweight or obese and concerned about your risk of ocular disease, see your Midwest Eye Consultants eye doctor or a dietician for recommendations. Know your personal health history and share that with your Midwest Eye Consultants eye doctor. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam today and enjoy peace of mind. Here’s to your health!