New Study Reveals Exercise Can Reduce Macular Degeneration

Cataract SurgeryMacular degeneration is a debilitating vision problem that is growing as the country’s population ages. Generally, patients who suffer from AMD (age-related macular degeneration) have deterioration of their macula, the portion of the retina that is responsible for central vision (fine details in front of you). There currently isn’t a proven treatment for macular degeneration.

In a press release, the researchers at the Atlanta VA Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation presented their findings on the direct relationship between moderate aerobic exercise and significant reduction in the progression of degenerative retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.

In their investigation, the researchers trained a group of mice to do treadmill runs for an hour every day, five days a week for two weeks. Afterwards, the mice were exposed to light that is known to damage retinal cells. The researchers found that the mice who exercised and later were exposed to the bright light lost only half the number of photoreceptor cells in the retina when compared to the inactive mice.

“This is the first report of simple exercise having a direct effect on retinal health and vision,” senior researcher Machelle Pardue said. “This research may one day lead to tailored exercise regimens or combination therapies in treatments of blinding diseases.”

You don’t have to run a marathon or enlist in a gym class to improve your vision and reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration. Walking and gardening are examples of moderate aerobic exercise you can do today.

Call 352.237.8400 to learn more about ways to prevent age-related vision loss today!

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