Can Exercise Improve My Eyesight?

There’s no quick-and-easy fix for eyesight problems. But things like good nutrition and exercise can help lower stress, which will make your eyes feel better and lessen your risk of eye strain.

Cardio exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, will lower intraocular pressure in your eyes and help keep the retinal ganglion cells protected. There are over a million of these tiny cells in the human retina, and they’re responsible for transmitting all visual information to the brain. Keeping them healthy and safe is essential for good eyesight.

A healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most important steps you can take to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two of the main culprits of vision problems and eye disease. Regular exercise also helps increase blood flow to the optic nerve and retina, ensuring your cells get the nutrients and oxygen they need to function well.

The connection between physical activity and eye health

While exercise may not directly affect your eyesight, it may affect other health issues like diabetes (which can damage the blood vessels of the retina) and high blood pressure (which can lead to eye disease). Exercise can help these common eye conditions:

  • Running or walking for 30 minutes a day can help reduce your risk of age-related cataracts. A cataract is a clouding that forms in the normally clear lens of the eye.
  • Exercising three or more times per week will lower your risk of wet age-related macular degeneration. Wet age-related macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in your central visual field. It’s typically caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula (part of the eye responsible for central vision).
  • Moderate intensity, low-impact exercises can help significantly reduce pressure inside the eyes, particularly in young adults with glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can cause blindness. It is typically caused by high pressure inside the eyes.

Exercises to improve eyesight

Try these fun and easy exercises to protect your eye health and vision:

Aerobic exercises

Regular aerobic exercise helps lower blood pressure and increase HDL or “good” cholesterol.

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Elliptical or stair climber
  • Swimming
  • Jogging
  • Dance

Eye exercises

If practiced regularly, eye exercises may help delay the need for glasses or contacts in some people.

  • Focus change
    In a seated position, challenge your focus. You can do this by moving your finger slowly back and forth three times while shifting your focus from your finger to something in the distance each time.
  • Figure eight
    In a seated position, pick a point on the floor about 10 feet in front of you and focus on it. Next, trace an imaginary figure 8 with your eyes for 30 seconds and switch directions.
  • 20-20-20-rule
    Eye strain is a real problem, particularly for those working on computers for many hours at a time. Give your eyes a break by implementing the 20-20-20 rule, which is looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

If it’s been more than a year since you or your family has had their regular eye exams, it’s time to schedule a state-of-the-art exam with Eye Specialists of Louisiana. A comprehensive eye exam can help diagnose chronic and systemic diseases like glaucoma, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, autoimmune diseases caused by inflammation and even certain types of cancer.

Call 225-768-7777 to find out how we can help you see better and keep your eyes healthy.