Why Maintaining A Healthy Body Weight Is Vital To Prevent Early Glaucoma Onset

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Increased body weight and obesity have been linked to numerous health conditions. Obesity is a major health concern and is a contributing factor for multiple chronic diseases. Obesity increases the risk of conditions such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes, Mellitus, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, and eye health. 

What Is Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the eye’s optic nerve. It is a condition that progresses with time and is linked to the build-up of pressure inside the eye. It can be genetically inherited and develops during the later stages of life.

The increased pressure in the eye is termed as intraocular pressure and damages the optic nerve, which has the responsibility of sending images to the brain. In worst-case scenarios, the condition worsens and leads to permanent vision loss or total blindness. 

People suffering from glaucoma may not show early symptoms or pain. For this reason, it is best to visit an ophthalmologist regularly, especially if the condition runs in the family. We have the best eye specialists who can diagnose and treat glaucoma in the early stages to prevent vision loss. 

Loss of vision cannot be reversed, however, successfully lowering the pressure at earlier stages will help prevent the progression of the disease.

Obesity and Glaucoma

The Beaver Dam Eye Study made important conclusions regarding high Body Mass Index (BMI) and elevated pressure inside the eyes. The study found that there is a link between obesity and intraocular pressure. Heightened intraocular pressure progressively damages the visual nerve fibers and causes glaucoma.  

The optic nerve is made from millions of visual nerve fibers that connect the eye to the brain. These fibers perform the function of transmitting electrical impulses to the brain. Heightened intraocular pressure damages these nerves and then consequently decreases the visual acuity. 

Consequences Of Obesity On Eye Health

Some of the consequences of obesity on eye health include:

  • Obesity increases the risk of diabetes mellitus and hypertension. These two conditions are risk factors for high intraocular pressure.
  • Obesity is associated with sleep apnea, which is considered as a risk factor for glaucoma. 
  • Obese individuals have a higher blood viscosity due to an increase in red cell count, hematocrit, and hemoglobin. This increase in blood viscosity reduces the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye, which can contribute to glaucoma. 
  • Obesity-associated with vascular atherosclerosis can cause vascular dysregulation and vasospasms. They are involved in distributing the blood flow to the optic nerve head, retina, and choroid. Low blood flow to the optic nerve can make the nerves susceptible to damage due to an increase in the intraocular pressure. 

Weight Loss And Glaucoma

Studies have investigated the association between weight loss and intraocular pressure. Results show that weight loss is linked to a decrease in intraocular pressure. Another study by the Journal of glaucoma showed a decrease in the average intraocular pressure after bariatric surgery. Intermittent fasting and eating less have also been associated with decreased intraocular pressure. 

Early glaucoma treatment can help prevent conditions like vision loss and permanent blindness. It is crucial to visit an eye doctor regularly to ensure the health of your eyes and get early intervention if any disease is detected. 

We have the best ophthalmologists in the region who provide excellent services to maintain your ocular health. 

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