Loosing sight due to glaucoma is one of the fears of many people who suffer from it or have a family member with this disease. To avoid worsening the problem of vision, many people believe that it is better to avoid physical activity. True or false? We asked Dr. Pietro Paolo Vico, ophthalmologist and referent of the Humanitas glaucoma pathology.
“True, but only if you suffer from a particular type of glaucoma called pigmentary – explains the expert. – In this case, in fact, the physical movement would lead to an increase in ocular pressure in some cases, already high in those suffering from glaucoma, due to transient changes in the iris as a result of increased adrenaline circulation. Therefore, the ophthalmologist will advise each patient on which and how much physical activity to perform to avoid worsening the health of their eyes. However, from the point of view of prevention, some research has shown that aerobic physical activity, such as walking or cycling, and smoking cessation can help people predisposed to delay the onset of glaucoma, a disease that affects the optic nerve, especially in old age, and that slowly reduces the field of vision and leads progressively to blindness. According to the research conducted, thanks to regular physical activity that promotes the increase in oxygenation of the blood that reaches the optic nerve, you could reduce the risk of developing glaucoma or slow down the progression of the disease in those who are already affected, performing at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, 5 times a week, taking about 7000 steps. Instead, there is no significant scientific evidence, or very weak evidence, about the benefits of vitamins such as B12, or substances such as ginkgo biloba or green tea found in various supplements for the prevention of glaucoma. It should be emphasized that the most effective prevention is carried out through regular eye examinations, so as to always keep under control the possible predisposition or appearance of glaucoma.