For a long time, it has been a very common opinion that physical activity can be harmful to vision. But recent discoveries of scientists have allowed us to look at this relationship from a new angle.
What scientists have discovered
In the summer of 2020, the results of a study were published on the website of the University of Virginia Medical School, during which scientists analyzed the relationship between physical activity and some common ophthalmological diseases. In particular, according to the data obtained by scientists, physical activity not only does not harm the eyes, but can slow down and even prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, as well as some other disorders that cause blindness in old age.
A study conducted on mice showed that physical activity reduces the proliferation of blood vessels in the eyes by almost 45%. Namely, this factor is key in the appearance of a number of ophthalmological diseases leading to vision loss.
What kind of exercises are good for the eyes
Scientists from the already mentioned University of Virginia made their conclusions after observing laboratory mice that ran in a wheel. Physical activity improved blood circulation and thus served as a factor preventing the proliferation of blood vessels. But at the same time, researchers have discovered another interesting fact. A positive ophthalmological effect was achieved at low levels of physical activity, and increased exercise did not serve as a factor for obtaining even better results. On the contrary, when the load was increased for the experimental mice, the previously obtained indicator decreased from 45% to 32%. Even before the study of American scientists, Russian ophthalmologists were sure that any physical activity improves blood circulation in the body, including activating the blood supply to the organs of vision. In childhood, when vision is formed, physical activity is shown, especially in the fresh air. A mobile lifestyle promotes the development of muscles, including oculomotor muscles, which are important for good vision.
It is believed that regular gymnastics is quite enough to get a positive effect for vision. The list of recommended exercises for the eyes also includes:
- jogging or at a slow pace;
- sports walking;
In addition, according to American researchers, calm running or active walking helps reduce the risk of age-related cataracts. Performing physical exercises 3 or more times a week is a good prevention of macular degeneration, and classes with a small load can reduce eye pressure in young people with glaucoma.
When and what kind of sport is contraindicated
Scientists, speaking about the effect of physical activity on vision, emphasize that it is important to understand the difference between permissible load and extreme (extreme). Specialists are aware of cases when women giving birth against the background of an excessive increase in pressure in the blood vessels of the eyes temporarily disappeared completely or vision deteriorated. The same thing happens during extreme exercise during sports. But if the exercises are performed at a level sufficient to maintain physical fitness, and not with the aim of breaking world records, then the benefits for the eyes are obvious. Thus, even bodybuilding can be safe from the point of view of ophthalmology, if you do not exceed your endurance level.
Physical activity is contraindicated in cases of moderate and high myopia, as it can provoke even more severe damage to the retina. If myopia is low, then moderate classes can even be useful. This is especially true for children and adolescents, when visual impairments are just beginning to form. Among the harmful to vision are boxing and various types of martial arts, in which there is a risk of eye injury.
By the way, at one time scientists from the University of California conducted an interesting study. They observed 18 volunteers who worked out on an exercise bike with varying intensity. During the experiment, experts discovered an interesting pattern. At a lower intensity of the load, the areas of the brain responsible for the perception and processing of visual information are activated. Simply put, there is an aggravation of vision. If the load is high, visual acuity decreases. The existence of such a relationship was confirmed by the athletes themselves engaged in running. After heavy long runs, many people notice a deterioration in their vision. Experts explain this fact by changes in pressure in blood vessels, as well as dehydration of the body.
The latest research has only once again confirmed that moderate sports activities for the body are only a plus. But while doing sports, do not forget to visit an ophthalmologist regularly and check eye health.