We all know how important exercise is to maintain a healthy weight, lower the risk of heart disease and improve our overall health. Exercise may also help improve the health of your eyes. As it turns out, certain forms of exercise can actually lower your risk of developing glaucoma. On the flip side, certain exercises can actually be harmful to your eyes if you have or are at risk of developing glaucoma.
Some exercise can lower eye pressure, particularly for patients at severe risk for glaucoma or who have already been diagnosed with the condition. But how you exercise is as important as whether you exercise when it comes to this risk, because some forms of exercise may increase your eye pressure.
Exercises that Can Lower the Risk of Glaucoma
Low-impact aerobic exercise can lower your eye pressure, as well as blood pressure, in addition to increasing the blood flow to the eyes. All of these factors can lower your risk of glaucoma.
There are many forms of aerobic exercise, including:
- Jogging (treadmill or outside)
- Riding a bike (stationary or outdoor)
- Using an elliptical machine
Exercises that Can Raise Eye Pressure
Not every form of exercise is beneficial to eye pressure. Exercise that involves straining or bearing down, such as weight-lifting or inverted sit-ups, has the opposite effect. Many yoga poses, those that incorporate inversion, can also have a negative effect on eye pressure.
Tips to Reduce Eye Pressure and Glaucoma Risk
Exercise is important across the board for developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you’re at risk for glaucoma, the right kind of exercise can be an important part of managing that risk over the long term.