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.