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Suffering From Glaucoma? Increase Your Physical Activity: Study

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Glaucoma related image Photo: Getty Images

The list to benefits derived from keeping physically fit and maintaining an active lifestyle just grew. The new addition that regular and moderate exercise bestows is to persons who suffer from glaucoma.

A study that was conducted in the UK over a period of five years specifically on glaucoma patients had its findings published recently in the medical journal, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. As per the published report, higher levels of physical exercise seem to bring on long-term beneficial effects on factors that affect glaucoma patients, such as ocular perfusion pressure (OPP). (1)

Ocular perfusion refers to the delivery of blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to a bed of capillaries in the eye tissue. The study had examined 5650 persons on whom a cause-effect relationship between the level of physical activity and ocular perfusion pressure was observed. (2)

According to the author of the study, Paul J. Foster, MD PhD, FRCS(Ed), of the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology, “It appears that OPP is largely determined by cardiovascular fitness. We cannot comment on the cause, but there is certainly an association between a sedentary lifestyle and factors which increase glaucoma risk.”

The study was conducted between 1993 and 1997 when the participants of the study were given a questionnaire that they needed to fill out themselves. The questionnaire gauged their total amount of physical activity done in the day, combining activity both at work and at leisure times.

Almost nine years on starting from 2006 up until 2010, those participants were checked for eye (ocular) pressure as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The findings clearly indicated that even moderate levels of physical exercises done decade and half back had reduced the risk of low optical perfusion pressure by as much as 25 percent. (2, 3)

This study was a first in observing the relationship between physical activity and ocular perfusion pressure. Previous studies have examined the effect of physical activity on intraocular pressure and on blood pressure.

According to Foster, “Before now, the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma was IOP, altered by medication, laser or surgery. 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.” (3)


1. Physical Fitness Could Have a Positive Effect On Eye Health; Science Daily; November, 2011; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024133028.htm

2. Physical Activity and Ocular Perfusion Pressure: The EPIC-Norfolk Eye Study; Investigative ophthalmology & Visual Science; November, 2011; http://www.iovs.org/content/52/11/8186

3. Physical Fitness Could Have A Positive Effect On Eye Health; The Association for Research In Vision and Ophthalmology; November, 2011; http://www.arvo.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?WebCode=PressTemplate&wps_key=39bf06ce-6bba-46e2-b1c5-82a5baa90a36


Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman – Tips From A Sufferer: ISBN: 978-81-291-1517-1 (Publisher: Rupa & Co. URL: http://www.amazon.com/Migraines-Informed-Woman-Tips-Sufferer/dp/8129115174/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298990756&sr=1-2), Mentor Your Mind – Tested Mantras For The Busy Woman: ISBN: 978-81-207-5973-2 (Publisher: Sterling Publishers; URL: http://www.sterlingpublishers.com/search_result.asp) and the upcoming The Urban Woman’s Integrated Fitness Guide (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Please visit www.mamtasingh.com

Reviewed December 19, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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