Staying physically fit may benefit eye health

Physical activity may help with eye healthA new study published in the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science journal found that physical fitness may reduce low ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), which is one of the risk factors for glaucoma.

The researchers discovered that moderate physical exercise over a 15-year span is linked to a 25 percent reduced risk of low OPP.

This is the first study that examines the link between physical fitness and OPP. Previously, studies have looked into the effect of physical activity on intraocular pressure (IOP) and blood pressure, which are the two components of OPP.

"Before now, the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma was IOP, altered by medication, laser or surgery," said author Dr. Paul J. Foster of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. "We believe our study points toward a new way of reducing glaucoma risk, through maintaining an active lifestyle. This is a way that people can participate in altering their risk of glaucoma and many other serious health problems."

Seniors may want to include exercise into their daily lives, as it has many benefits in addition to improving eye health.