Did You Know Exercise Is Good for Your Eyes — and Your Vision?

Research study after study keeps showing that your workout is good for your eyes, too. You know that exercise is good for you — for toning up or slimming down, or for just generally staying healthy and feeling better. You may not know, however, that getting plenty of exercise also may help preserve your vision.

Several studies over the last 10 years have found connections between regular exercise and reducing risks for several common eye ailments such as cataracts, wet age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

In other cases, a good diet and exercise help avoid health problems that aren’t primarily eye-related but that sometimes damage your eyes (type 2 diabetes, for one). If you don’t control your diabetes, it sometimes damages the retina’s blood vessels and leads to blindness.

Vision problems and eye disease also stem from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most important steps you can take to lower both.

What can you do?

  1. Visit your eye doctor regularly. Work with your eye doctor to schedule checkups every year or two and make sure you have the right prescription for your glasses.
  2. Make exercise a priority. This is especially important in light of research from the last 10 years that shows exercise is associated with decreased risks for certain eye conditions, as well as offering other surprising benefits.

Whether it’s a brisk walk around your block or a run through the park or on a track, a 2013 study found that both activities “may be associated with decreased risk of age-related cataract.” A 2016 study had similar findings, and added that a lack of physical activity may be associated with an increased risk of getting cataracts.

Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A study of about 4,000 older adults over 15 years found that those who were active and exercised three or more times a week were less likely to develop exudative (wet) AMD.

Wet AMD develops when unwanted blood vessels grow under the center of the retina and leak blood and fluid into the eye.

Doctors treat glaucoma by lowering high intraocular (eye) pressure. Research focused on young adults found that moderate intensity, low-impact exercise led to significant reductions in eye pressure. The Glaucoma Research Foundation calls for regular, ongoing exercise, such as walking or jogging, to help reduce eye pressure.

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.

For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:

Specs Direct  |  Professional Affordable Eyewear

20 McIntyre Street, Parow, Cape Town 7500

Tel: 021 939 1020


Note: We are contracted in to all medical aids