Exercise Can Prevent Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy According to University of Virginia Researchers

Researchers at the University of Virginia have found that physical activity reduces the proliferation of blood vessels in the eyes. this harmful overgrowth of blood vessels is a key contributor to vision loss conditions such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Eye Exam

Eye Exam

We know that regular physical activity is good for physical and mental health. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia also reports on the benefits of physical activity in vision, especially as it helps to slow or even prevent age-related macular degeneration, as well as the development of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, which affects 50% of type 2 diabetics.

Read Also: UC Berkeley Researchers Restore Vision in Mice Through Gene Insertion

A decrease in the proliferation of blood vessels

This is an unprecedented discovery, as the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in terms of vision have always been studied through questionnaires. This time, however, the researchers provide “tangible evidence” obtained in the laboratory on mice. By comparing two groups of rodents, they found that those who voluntarily trained by walking on their wheels reduced the harmful overgrowth of blood vessels by up to 45% compared to the other group that did not move. When the experiment was repeated, they observed a 32% reduction in blood vessel proliferation.

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However, the researchers still do not know exactly how physical activity can reduce the proliferation of blood vessels in the eyes. “The next step is to understand how and why this happens and determine whether we can develop a pill or method that provides the benefits of physical activity without having to take it,” says Bradley Gelfand, lead author of the study, referring in particular to older and disabled people who cannot move.

“One of the reasons I wanted to do this study was a bit selfish: I was hoping to find a reason not to exercise,” he joked, before reminding people that it is obviously essential for health to exercise regularly if you can.

Official recommendations

It is recommended to exercise the equivalent of at least 30 minutes of fast walking per day. Adults are recommended to do 30 minutes of physical activity for at least 5 days a week to develop a medium to high-intensity cardio-respiratory fitness, avoiding staying without exercise for 2 consecutive days.

Read Also: Age-related Close-up Vision Loss- How do I rid myself of reading glasses?

Cardio and resistance sessions can be integrated into the same activity or the same day. For children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years of age, it is recommended that at least 60 minutes of moderate to high-intensity physical activity be done per day.


Study explains benefits of exercise in preventing vision loss

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