What does obesity have to do with age related macular degeneration (AMD) you ask?

It is well known that being overweight is related to a number of overall health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, orthopedic problems, heart disease and even cancer. Having extra pounds (particularly around the abdomen) is just bad for your health. A lesser known fact is that obesity can increase one’s risk of vision loss from conditions such as macular degeneration.

Certain controllable factors can contribute to vision loss. These include smoking, high blood pressure and diets high in fat. When these risk factors are combined with obesity, can increase the risk of macular degeneration significantly. In fact, two Israeli ophthalmologists reviewed more than twenty studies involving thousands of patients across the world to determine the connection between weight and eye health. Their study found a consistent link between obesity and the occurrence of eye disease.

Their review and analysis found that:

  • Obese patients were more than twice as likely to lose more vision than those with normal BMI’s.
  • The bigger a person’s waist, the higher their risk of vision loss.
  • Eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration are more likely to progress more quickly in obese individuals.
  • Exercising at least three times a week cut the risk of AMD getting worse by 25%.

In fact, another study known as the Beaver Dam Eye Study looked at the relationship between exercise and AMD and concluded that increased walking of more than 12 blocks per day decreased the incidence of wet macular degeneration by 30% over 15 years!

If you or someone you know has questions about AMD or age related macular degeneration risk factors, or needs to schedule an eye exam appointment, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.


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