Work Out to Prevent Retinal Disease

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With swim suit season in full swing, everyone is hitting the gym or yoga studio to get that rocking summer body. What if all that sweating and ab crunching could not only help you stay fit, but also help prevent the progress of retinal disease?

Findings from a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the first of its kind to test the link between exercise and vision-related disorders, show that moderate exercise may help preserve photoreceptors and the function of retinal nerves.

The study was conducted on mice and monitored their vision before and after running on a treadmill. To test the effect of aerobic exercise on damaged retinal nerves, researchers exposed the mice to toxic bright light after the subjects had performed the activity for a set period of time. Results show that photoreceptors and retinal cells were preserved with exercise.

The conclusion is that simple exercise could have a direct, positive effect on eye health. In the future, this could lead to programs designed to treat specific vision-related disorders, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in people over 50. 

So next time you’re trying to find the motivation to hit the treadmill or the weight room, just know that you aren’t only training your body, you’re strengthening and healing your eyes as well.

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