Health Day - ONLINE EDITION

Can Exercise and an Occasional Drink Boost Eye Health?

More research needed to show whether lifestyle directly affects vision loss, study author says

  • Print

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise and occasional drinking may be good for your eyes, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data collected from nearly 5,000 Wisconsin adults, aged 43 to 84, from 1988 to 2013. Over 20 years, 5.4 percent of them developed visual impairment.

Visual impairment is defined as sight loss that's caused by eye disease, injury or a medical condition and that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses.

This occurred in 6.7 percent of people who were inactive and 2 percent of people who exercised three or more times a week. After adjusting for age, the researchers found that people who got regular exercise were 58 percent less likely to develop vision problems than those who were inactive.

Visual impairment developed in 11 percent of nondrinkers and 4.8 percent of occasional drinkers, defined as those who have less than one serving in an average week. After adjustment for age, occasional drinkers were 49 percent less likely to develop eye problems than nondrinkers, the study found.

Heavy drinkers and heavy smokers were somewhat more likely than nondrinkers and nonsmokers to develop visual impairment, according to the study published online recently in the journal Ophthalmology.

"While age is usually one of the most strongly associated factors for many eye diseases that cause visual impairment, it is a factor we cannot change," lead researcher Dr. Ronald Klein, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said in a journal news release.

"Lifestyle behaviors like smoking, drinking and physical activity, however, can be altered," he added. "So, it's promising, in terms of possible prevention, that these behaviors are associated with developing visual impairment over the long term."

However, the association found in the study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Further research is needed to determine whether changing lifestyle behaviors would have a direct effect on reducing vision loss, Klein said.

The number of Americans with visual impairment is expected to grow to at least 4 million by 2020, a 70 percent increase from 2000.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about vision impairment.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gord Steeves targets traffic cameras

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think volunteers dragging the Red River is a good idea?

View Results

Ads by Google