It’s that time of the year again when we all make our resolutions to lose weight and get fit. We join a gym, start a new diet or just resolve to eat a little less. Many people resolve to quit smoking.
Not only is all of this good for the body as a whole, it’s also good for your eyes. Here are three resolutions that can improve your vision health:
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your vision health is to quit smoking. If you didn’t have sufficient reason to quit smoking before, here are some more reasons to quit, reasons that make a very big difference to your vision health. Studies have shown that people who smoke are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) compared with people who don’t smoke. Quitting smoking reduces the risk by about 20% in the short-term. Smoking is also a risk factor for the development of cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy (an ocular complication of diabetes). Smoking also contributes to elevated blood pressure and higher glucose levels, both of which can affect your eyes.
Start a Fitness Program
So you have now quit smoking, what about that fitness program and the associated weight loss program that you’re going to start? How does this affect your vision health? Well the answer to this question is associated with blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure has been shown to be a risk factor for the development of AMD, Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma. There is no doubt that losing weight and improving your cardiovascular fitness can reduce your blood pressure. Before you start, make sure you discuss any weight loss or fitness program with your doctor, start slowly and don’t overdo it. Most successful programs are built slowly over time, and need to be continued. Trying to do it all in a short time only leads to one dropping out more quickly.
Eat Healthier Foods
Last on your list of New Year’s resolutions, I’m sure, is a resolution to eat healthier foods. Your mother was right when she told you to eat your vegetables. Leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach or kale, and many fruits have anti-oxidants that help protect your eyes from oxidative damage. What is good for the cardiovascular system is also good for the eyes. Eating foods such as fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are not only good for your cardiovascular system they are also good for your eyes. Furthermore, both eating well and keeping fit can help control your blood glucose and reduce the risk of developing vision loss.
So it’s all very simple really. Quit smoking, exercise regularly and eat well and you’re on your way to a year of improved vision health.
Happy New Year!!!
This Blog is not intended to take the place of good medical advice. Since all medical situations are individual, it is important that you always consult your eye doctor regarding your eye condition and your personal physician regarding your general health and any diet or exercise program you undertake.