Regular Exercise May Prevent Cataracts

If you exercise regularly, you are not just benefitting your cardiovascular system. You are also preventing age-related cataracts!

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye and is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 55. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 20.5 million people who suffer from cataracts. By the time they are 70 years of age, over half of all Americans will have a cataract. Although this degenerative condition can cause blindness, this is completely reversible. Cataracts are treatable with an outpatient procedure. Regular comprehensive eye exams can diagnose cataracts very easily, and cataract removal surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries performed today.

One way to keep your eyes cataract-free is to stay physically fit. According to a new study published in Ophthalmology, exercise plays a key role in safeguarding against cataracts. At Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, researchers found that regular exercise over a span of 12 years could reduce cataract risk by as much as 13 percent. The study examined more than 52,000 Swedish men and women between the ages of 45 and 83. While exercise helped prevent the development of cataracts, the study also concluded that inactivity may be associated with increased risk for age-related cataracts (Source: Optometry Today).

The level of activity played an important role. Not surprisingly, higher levels of activity were more beneficial over the long term. Authors of the study wrote, “Specific types of physical activity [such] as walking or bicycling and work or occupational activity, may be associated with decreased risk of age-related cataract.”

Make daily exercise a part of your routine to keep your heart in top-shape and to prevent cataracts. Remember, if you are new to exercise, you should always talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.